The Keys to Good Posture

Poor posture is one of the most common conditions seen at Lotus Chiropractic Care. Proper posture is necessary for your body to develop and maintain its strength and balance. Improper posture can contribute to a range of health issues. 

Postural distortion occurs when you maintain an undesirable posture position for an extended period. This can lead to muscle imbalances, which can cause your posture to become distorted.  

Postural distortion is very common today, where many work environments encourage and require sitting for hours at a time. Long commutes and evenings sitting in front of the television screen are other common factors contributing to postural distortion. 

Distorting your posture can make your body more prone to injuries due to your muscular and spinal misalignment. Luckily, you can avoid postural distortion by learning how to implement good posture in all areas of your life. 

Correct Posture for Sitting or Working at a Computer

Maintaining a seated position for extended periods is one of the biggest factors behind posture problems today. If your work requires you to sit in front of a computer for several hours, it is important to practice proper posture. 

You want to keep your spine in neutral posture as much as possible. Neutral posture is when your spine is straight, and you are not slouching or hunching over. This can be achieved when sitting at a desk or working on a computer. 

  • Keep your computer monitor at eye level so you don’t have to tilt your head to view it. 
  • Rest your feet flat on the ground. Don’t cross your ankles or legs. 
  • Keep your knees when seated at the same height or slightly lower than your hips. 
  • Use a lumbar support tool to help keep your upper back straight. You can also invest in an office chair with built-in lumbar support. 
  • Place a folded towel or cloth between your lower back and the chair. This maintains the natural curves of your back and helps support the lumbar spine.
  • Try pointing your sternum or chest bone up toward the ceiling. This could help reduce strain and tension on your neck.

You can invest in ergonomic chairs, footrests, and backrests to create a healthy work environment. You can also use many tools to position your computer or tablet correctly for proper posture and various mouses and mouse pads you can purchase to support an overall ergonomic work environment. 

Most importantly, get up occasionally and move around a bit! Give yourself a 5-minute movement break every hour. Maintaining the same position for an extended period isn’t good for your body. 

Correct Driving Posture

The vehicles we drive can certainly add to our posture problems. But the good news is that many of these problems can be avoided by properly adjusting the seat and changing how you sit. 

Here are a few tips for maintaining the right posture when driving or riding in a vehicle. 

  • Sit so your head is against the headrest and not leaning forward. The headrest should be aligned so it is positioned at the center of your head. 
  • Your upper back should be pressed against the seatback; you shouldn’t need to lean forward to grasp the steering wheel. 
  • You need at least a two-finger gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat. Your knees should have a small bend in them. 

Adjust your seat height, so it is around a 100-degree angle. Keep the seat bottom so it is nearly flat. 

For your steering wheel, your chest should be about 10-12 inches away from the steering wheel. When gripping the steering wheel, your arms should have a small bend. Your wrists should fall just over the steering wheel when your arms are fully extended. 

If you are driving for more than an hour, be sure to take breaks. Stop every hour, get out of the car, and stretch. This is good for your posture and is a great trick for maintaining alertness on long drives. 

Correct Lifting Posture

You must have good form if your daily routine includes working out at the gym or any form of heavy lifting. 

Lifting weights incorrectly or with a bad posture can cause backaches or other injuries. Below are some tips to help keep your body safe while lifting weights-

  • Know your limits. If you find the object “a bit too heavy,” do not overexert yourself trying to lift it. It could lead to some serious injuries or sprains.
  • When lifting an object lower than the waist level, keep your back straight and bend only at your hips and knees.
  • Before lifting a heavy object, stand close to it with a wide stance and make sure you have firm footing. Also, lift it slowly using your leg muscles. Do not jerk it up suddenly.
  • When holding a heavy package, avoid lifting it above waist level. It could cause sprains or throw you off balance.
  • While walking with a heavy object, hold it close to the body with your arms bent. 

If you are unsure of the correct posture for a gym equipment or exercise you want to try, ask a trainer to assist you. 

Correct Sleeping Posture

All the day’s hard work goes down the drain if we do not get to end it with a good night’s sleep. Sleeping with good posture is a must to help your muscles and ligaments relax and heal! 

  • Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. It forces the neck to remain twisted to one side for hours. This can create kinks in the spine and change its structural integrity.
  • Do not sleep without a pillow! Especially when sleeping on your back, a pillow supports the natural curve of your neck and shoulders. 
  • Place a pillow under the back of your knees. This can help reduce stress on the spine and support the curves of the lower back.

Your choice of pillow and mattress is important too! Medium-firm pillows will allow the head and neck to maintain proper placement–reducing the risk of sprains. And similarly, medium-firm mattresses are great for supporting the spinal curves. 

It is best to avoid ultra-soft or saggy pillows and mattresses. They don’t provide your body with the support it needs. 

The Effects of Bad Posture on Your Body

Bad posture is harmful to your health. That is why it is so important to maintain proper posture throughout your daily activities. 

  • Poor posture can deteriorate your natural ability to maintain the correct spinal alignment over time. This can lead to an array of problems with your body. 
  • Poor posture can strain your upper and lower back, resulting in back pain. 
  • Poor posture can also negatively impact your neck and head, leading to neck pain and headaches. 
  • Poor posture throughout the day can make it harder for your body to relax at night when you lie down to go to sleep. This can result in tossing and turning and lower quality sleep. 
  • Sitting with bad posture all day can lead to digestive issues. It can cause your abdominal organs to compress, negatively impacting digestion and metabolism. 

Poor posture and consequences can also impact your mental health and well-being. 

Posture Correction

At Lotus Chiropractic Care, one of the assessments we perform on each patient is a posture analysis. This will allow us to see what is happening with your spine and give us a better understanding of your spinal health. 

We can work with you to fix a distorted posture. 

Evaluate Your Posture

To start with, we formally evaluate your posture. When we evaluate your posture, we are looking for a few specific things: 

  • Head tilting and rotation
  • Neck toilet
  • Bilateral shoulder height difference
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Bilateral hip-height difference
  • Muscle tone difference bilateral to the spine

Looking at all of these elements allows Dr. Desai to determine how the state of your posture has impacted your body. 

Take X-Rays to Evaluate Spinal Health

Dr. Desai will also take x-rays of your spine. This allows her to determine the overall health of your spine and get a closer look at what is happening with your body. 

From your x-rays, Dr. Desai can determine if you have degenerative changes resulting from postural distortion. She can measure your spinal degradation, and determine how much re-alignment can be restored to your spine. 

Correct Spinal Misalignment

Spinal alignment and posture are interconnected and impact each other. Your posture directly correlates to the health and alignment of your spine. When you have postural distortion, the spine is generally misaligned as well. 

Dr. Desai will start to fix things at the root of the problem. She will help by correcting your spinal misalignment. When your spine is properly aligned, the health of the extremities connected to your spine, such as your head, arms, hips, and legs, will also improve. 

Correct Muscular Issues with Exercise

Once your spine is correctly aligned, correcting issues with the muscular system that supports and protects your spine is important. 

This can be achieved through postural exercises that help to strengthen your postural muscles. This will help keep your ligaments and bones from getting stressed and moving out of alignment. 

Bad Posture Can Be Fixed

At Lotus Chiropractic Care, we can help you fix your poor posture. Poor posture can be the cause of numerous types of pain. 

Dr. Desai will evaluate and help fix your posture. Keep in mind that fixing your posture requires both treatments and lifestyle changes. Schedule an appointment online, and call us to help you fix your posture. 

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