Posture is such a vital component of a person’s lifestyle and can have more of an impact on health than one might think. Poor posture can lead to a variety of different issues, such as:
- Lower back pain
- Back ache
- Neck pain
- Referred pain
- Pins & needles
- Numbness/tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness
- Joint stiffness
Our spine has five different sections that are all curved in a specific way. It is important to maintain these curves so that our bones, nerves and muscles all work correctly and aren’t being placed under excessive tension. The spine can easily be placed in an unnatural position without realising, therefore it is key to have your posture analysed so any issues can be identified and addressed.
When your parents told you to sit up straight as a child, they weren’t just saying it to annoy you. Whether it’s when driving, sitting at a computer or sitting at a desk all day, it’s natural for people to hunch over. This can place strain on your spine which can result in pain and deformity such as rounded shoulders. Studies have shown that prolonged exposure to an incorrect posture when sitting, can significantly affect the risk of developing back pain.
A common cause of neck pain is having the wrong pillow when sleeping. Having too many or too few pillows can bend the spine, which is why some people say they ‘slept funny’ and wake up with a stiff or sore neck. Although memory foam pillows are advertised to help posture by moulding to your position, if your neck does not already have the correct curve then this will not improve your condition. Having the correct amount of pillows will help to align your spine when lying on your side, however if you sleep on your back it can be slightly trickier, as not only does your neck have to be in the correct position, but it also needs to have the correct curve.
Especially in the teenage population who are always glued to their phones, it is very easy to adapt a poor posture. Looking down at the screen causes our spine to be put under stress, which can not only cause neck and shoulder pain, but it can also lead to the deformity ‘poking chin’.
It’s always easier to fix an issue before it occurs, however this doesn’t mean it’s too late if you have already suffered from the effects of poor posture. Our Sports Therapists and Osteopaths can offer a wide range of treatments, correctional advice and exercises to help you prevent or reduce the severity of bad posture. These include:
- Assessment of postural habits
- Postural education and training
- Massage/soft tissue techniques
- Manual therapy
- Kinesiology taping
- Joint mobilisation
- Corrective exercises
- Activity modification advice
- Ergonomics advice