Posture – Poor
Massage therapy Vancouver can help improve your posture. The following is an article on the ways poor posture can negatively affect your life and a self-test for you to evaluate your posture at home. If you have any question, concerns or would like a Registered Massage Therapist to evaluate your posture, please contact our downtown clinic at 604-685-4325 or book online by clicking here .
North American lifestyle contributes to poor posture. We spend more time watching television than previous generations. We are much more sedentary with a greater number of people working at a desk in front of a computer. We walk less and drive more, many in poorly designed seats and there are more accidents that result in injury.
The Top eight ways poor posture can affect your life:
- Poor Posture makes you look older than you are.
When you do not stand straight, you can add years to your appearance. Being hunched over with rounded shoulders makes you look weak and tired. It cause peoples faces to sag and increases the sag in womens breasts up to 50%.
- Poor posture limits your range of motion.
Muscles and ligaments adapt to the stress that we put on them. They can become shortened or stretched depending on the type of stress. If stressed for too long the change can become permanent.
- Poor posture can increase your pain or discomfort.
Poor posture often causes headaches, pain in the shoulders, arms, hands, and around the eyes due to a head forward position. Rounded shoulders can contribute and cause headaches because of the strain on the muscles that attach at the base of the skull.
- Poor posture can create pain in the jaw and make it difficult to eat.
This kind of pain (known as TMJ, temporomandibular joint disease) was once considered only a dental problem. Today we know that TMJ pain also may be caused or aggravated by faulty posture. Head forward posture changes gravity’s pull on the jaw and increasing pressure on the joint as well as the muscles involved in chewing.
- Poor posture restricts the efficient functioning of the lungs.
Rounded shoulders and hunching forward decrease the space in your chest and limits the amount of oxygen in your lungs.
- Poor posture can cause low back pain.
Low back pain is one of the most common consequences of bad posture especially in people over 35. Most adults have been nurturing the muscle imbalance that causes back pain since childhood.
- Poor posture can cause nerve problems.
Your spine is the structural basis of posture. Your peripheral nerves exit the spine to innervate your body. A misaligned spine can press on a nerve and interfere with nerve function.
- Poor posture can inhibit the elimination of your bodies waste.
Rounded shoulders and head forward posture may affect the efficiency of your bowels and may cause your intestines to sag, which may lead to constipation.
Poor posture develops symptoms over time. The time line is not the same for everyone because every persons body is different. However there are three common stages that develop over time.
The progression of symptoms due to poor posture for an average adult is:
- Muscle fatigue, because muscles have to work harder to keep the person erect. When your muscles work harder, you expend more energy.
- The excessive work leads to tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs. At this stage, there may be change in the muscles and ligaments. More than 80 % of neck and back problems are brought on by years of poor posture.
- The third stage involves the joints. Due to limited mobility, joints become stiff and painful; there is a risk degenerative osteoarthritis.
There are many causes of poor posture, some are structural others are functional. Functional poor posture can be caused by physical traumas, poor sleep support, excessive weight, visual or emotional difficulties, foot pathologies, improper foot wear, careless sitting and standing, negative self image, occupational stress and poorly designed work spaces. If left for too long functionally poor posture can cause irrevocable structural damage.
The RMTs at Everest Therapeutics Inc will assess your body for poor posture. Once we have identified the problem we can then start to retrain the body. The treatment depends on the primary cause of the poor posture and the signs and symptoms presenting. For example if there are foot issues, pathology orthotics may be necessary. In this case, our massage therapists would then refer you to an orthotics specialist. Once you have been outfitted with orthotics, our RMTs can then work with you to create new movement patterns. Our Registered Massage Therapists can then work on retraining your postural muscles by releasing the tight, hyper toned muscles and stimulating the stretched and fatigued muscles. Retraining your muscles will decrease the stress on your joints allowing for an increase in freedom of movement. Restoring your body’s natural balance will decrease pain and increase your body’s metabolic efficiency. Your RMT also has tools to help you retrain your body on a daily basis to improve and keep your good posture.
The following allows you to assess your posture at home. It can also be used to track your progress as your posture improves. This test can be done by yourself for a rough guide or with someone else who can measure the actual distance to the wall.
The Wall Test – Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. With your buttocks touching the wall, check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall. If you can get within an inch or two at the low back and two inches at the neck, you have reasonable posture. If not, your posture may need to see one of our massage therapists for a postural evaluation. Remember, this is a basic test and listening to your body is the best assessment tool.
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