How does poor posture affect your muscles and how can your posture play a role in making you sore, achy and tight.
So what is posture?
Posture is really how we hold ourselves. It is how we sit, how we stand and how we walk. Its how we hold our bodies in time and space throughout the day.
What causes poor posture?
We started out as young children with good posture, so how has our posture changed so much as we’ve gotten older? There are so many variables. I would say number 1 is the lack of awareness of what we are doing with our body and a lack of knowledge of how important good posture is. When you think about how many people go through the day, we’re sitting all day. We get so focused and occupied by what we are doing throughout the day that we lose concentration on how we’re hold our body. What that does is create a weakness or a pattern of weakness in the body. Then add to that the accumulation of adhesions and scar tissue in the muscles. It’s an accumulative problem that develops over time.
We have a hard time getting out of poor posture because we get stiffer and we get more sore through the years. We have more pain and it’s just more comfortable to stay in this rounded and crouchy sort of posture, then it is to stand upright! A lot of poor posture comes from prolonged sitting in cars, at the office or at home. Its a whole slew of things that cause poor posture, but the number one cause is really a lack of awareness. You just lose awareness or you are just not even aware of your posture through out the day.
How does poor posture affect our muscles?
Poor posture is detrimental to the body because it is creating scar tissue and adhesions. It’s also creating tight areas throughout the body. If you can imagine your head being forward (like when you are looking at a computer screen), the muscles in the back of the neck are stretched out and the muscles in the front of the neck are shorten This sets up an imbalance. The muscle in the back are weak and angry and the muscles in the front are short and tight.
Now, this consistent tightness and weakness makes it hard for you to correct your posture. The stretched and weak muscle have a hard time working against the short and tight muscle. Over time this put wear and tear on the spine of the neck and the shoulders.
Poor Posture can also put wear and tear on the digestive system, respiratory system and even the lymphatic system. It can really affect our over all health. In time it gets harder and harder to get yourself into good posture. You have the stiffness, tightness, pain, an strength imbalance in the muscle and finally the difficulty of staying aware your posture.
What can I do about poor posture? How can I change?
The number one solution to poor posture is awareness. You have to become aware of your posture. Even if its bad. Accept it and become determined to make it better. Look at the way you hold your body when in the car, at the office, and at home. Get a good over all idea of what your dealing with.
Second move your body. Movement is so important to your body. Whether its walking, or an exercise class ,it is really important to move. Third solution is self care. We are firm believers in foam rolling. You have to break up the scar tissue and adhesions. This will allow your muscles to move fluidly, the way they were designed to move.
Fourth, you may need to do some strengthening. This may require a physical Therapist or a Fitness Trainer to help. They can help you to figure out where your weaknesses are, and how to strengthen them. You may also need a Massage Therapist to break up some of the more intense scar tissues and adhesions. It is going to require some work on your part.
Finally you will need to make change in your lifestyle. Changes at work, home, and in the car to make sure these areas are ergonomically correct. This is important, because if you are doing your self care and then go back to the same habits at work, car or home, whats the point?
I have always told my clients to set a timer for every 15 minutes, where ever you spend a large amount of time. This way every 15 minutes you are reminded to correct you posture. These reminder will help reprogram your body to stay in good posture. You can not focus on a task and focus on your posture at the same time for a long period of time – or even 5 minutes! Give it a try, and tell me what you notice.
If you would like to learn more about our online Foam Rolling Program
“Purposeful Foam Rolling”
Christina and I are the creators of the online self care course “Purposeful Foam Rolling”. We teach you how to effectively and efficiently Foam Roll. So you can take control of reducing your muscle pain and tightness. This video is for educational purposes only. We are not treating, diagnosing or prescribing. We are giving you 15 Years of experience as Neuromuscular and Sports Massage Therapist. Check with your doctor first before doing this or any exercise program.