What is ‘good posture’?

Almost instantaneously as I mention ‘posture’ to my patients, they automatically look at me with guilt and say “oh, I know my posture is bad…” causing a reflex reaction of pulling their shoulders back and sitting or standing up straight. Well, you can relax while you read this article, because your visions of good posture may just be about to change.

You do not need to be stiff and look like you left the coat hanger in your top to have healthy posture! As health professionals, we view good posture as the maintenance of a healthy curvature of the spine, and it helps to re-assure my patients that this simply means a position that puts the body under the least amount of physical stress when it is both moving and stationary.

To explain this a little more, imagine that you were looking at your skeleton from one side. What you would notice about the spinal column is that it has a series of natural balanced curves from the neck area down to the coccyx. These curves are an important design feature of the spine, for its role as the supporting structure of your body. Deterioration of these curves can occur over the process of time and through the activities of our lifestyle.

When we are seated in a hunched position over desks for long periods, the shoulders can roll forward and the muscles of the neck and upper back work harder than they are designed to. This is not an optimal position for our body to be in the long-term.

You can look after your spine by considering ways to maintain those natural curves:

•             Raise your ‘posture awareness’ as you move and carry out daily activities and try to keep a relaxed posture. To help you visualise how good posture should feel imagine there is a fine piece of string attached to the top of your head, which is gently lifting you into a taller and relaxed body position.

•             Get active with regular whole-body physical activities that you enjoy like swimming, walking, team sports, cycling, gardening, yoga, dancing etc.

•             Specific physical activities advised by your Osteopath to strengthen your core muscle groups can assist posture by acting like a brace for the back muscles. It is important to make sure your body is in structural and functional balance before commencing such activities, so your Osteopathic consultation and treatment is your first step to better posture, and reduced pain!

Contact Us or Call us on (03) 9889 5885 to get your body back on track!

 

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