Do you ever feel like your posture is not quite right? Do you slump over when you sit down, have a hard time standing up straight, or walk with a noticeable limp? If so, you’re not alone. Poor posture is a common problem that many people struggle with every day. But what is posture, exactly? And why is it so important to have good posture? That’s what I’m going to discuss in today’s post, and I’ll also give you some simple do’s and don’ts for how to improve your posture.
What Is Posture?
Your posture is how you hold your body when sitting, standing, and walking. Good posture means that your bones are aligned properly and that your muscles, ligaments, and tendons can work together efficiently. This alignment allows you to move with ease and helps you avoid injuries. Bad posture, on the other hand, can lead to a number of problems, including:
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Muscle fatigue
- Joint problems
Do’s and Don’ts of Good Posture
If you want to avoid these problems, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of good posture. Here are some simple tips for how to improve your posture when sitting, standing, and walking:
Sitting Posture Do’s and Don’ts
- Do sit up straight in a chair with your feet resting flat on the floor or a footrest.
- Do use a small pillow or lumbar roll to support your lower back.
- Do ensure your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle, either slightly elevated, level, slightly below the level of your hips.
- Do keep your computer monitor at eye level so you don’t have to lean forward or look down.
- Don’t slouch forward in your chair.
- Don’t cross your legs while sitting.
Standing Posture Do’s and Don’ts
- Do stand up straight with your shoulders back and your weight evenly distributed on both feet.
- Do support your weight on the balls of your feet more than the heels.
- Do stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Don’t slouch forward or to the side.
- Don’t stand on one leg while the other leg is crossed behind you.
Walking Posture Do’s and Don’ts
- Do keep your head up and your shoulders back while walking.
- Do swing your arms naturally as you walk.
- Do keep your stomach muscles engaged while you walk to help keep your body upright.
- Don’t walk with a hunched back or rounded shoulders.
- Don’t swing your arms across your body while walking.
Custom Orthotics Can Help Improve Your Posture
If you struggle with poor posture, custom orthotics can be a big help. Orthotics are devices that are placed inside your shoes to support your feet and align your joints. This can take the strain off of your muscles and help improve your posture.
You can find mass-produced orthotics in most pharmacies, but I would highly recommend you use custom-made orthotics like the Foot Leveler brand orthotics I sell in my clinic. Mass-produced orthotics may help with shock absorption while you walk, but they won’t be designed specifically to support your feet. Custom orthotics are made to order for your feet, which means they provide superior support exactly where you need it so you can maintain good posture.
What is the Bottom Line for Better Posture?
Having been in practice for almost 30 years I have heard many patients say to me they have tried to improve their posture by standing up straight, sitting up straight, doing exercises to improve posture with little or no sustained correction of their poor posture! This is because poor posture is a symptom of another problem. And that problem is a misaligned spine. So, you get a misaligned spine, pinched nerves from a misaligned spine, altered muscle tone from a misaligned spine, connective tissue changes from a misaligned spine, and finally, poor posture sets in from a misaligned spine. It’s along the line of “For want of a nail, the shoe was lost. For want of a shoe, the horse was lost. For want of a horse, the rider was lost. For want of a rider, the battle was lost”. You will invariably loose the battle to improve your posture unless you get your spine realigned and the proper exercises needed to support that endeavor!
Visit Mattingly Chiropractic for Better Posture
If your back and shoulders are aching due to bad posture, try the tips I listed above. You should also come see me at my clinic for a chiropractic adjustment, which can help relieve your pain while you work on improving your posture. If you want even more pain relief, ask about receiving Pressure Point Therapy at your appointment, which is a simple technique for releasing painful knots of trapped energy along your nerve pathways.
Call us at (314) 408-6285 to schedule your appointment today.