It is very common for many people to start off sitting upright in your chair and as the day goes past, they slouch into their chair. Even though they correct their posture multiple times, they end up in a slumped posture once again. If this describes your day, you may have a poor posture. A poor posture can also lead to other issues such as nerve pains, constipation, gastric issues, urinary incontinence and bladder issues, etc. In this blog we will discuss five main signs of a poor posture and how they can lead to aches and pains in your spine and joints.
The first sign of a poor posture is a forward head posture, ie; your head is placed forwards in relation to your body or torso. To determine if you have a forward head posture, stand sideways and draw a line from your ear lobe to your shoulder blade. If your ear lobe lies ahead of your shoulder tip, then you have a forward head posture. This posture is usually seen in those who are straining their neck forwards to look at a screen for long hours. It creates a lot of stress around the neck muscles and nerves in that area. The more forward the head more is the stress on the neck. Example: for every degree that the head moves forward there is an additional load of 4.5 kgs on to your neck.
If the nerves in the upper part of the cervical spine get irritated or compressed due to this forward head posture it can lead to frequent headaches. These are known as cervicogenic or cervical headaches as they originate in the cervical spine, This is the second sign of a poor posture. These headaches start in the neck and go up the back of the head and the forehead. Any activities that relive the neck pain will give relief in headache too. These could be rest, hot pack, exercises, etc.
Another sign of poor posture are rounded shoulders. Most of our daily activities are flexor dominant, i.e. in the front of the body, be it diaper changes or typing or driving or cooking, etc. This tends to make us more prone to rounded shoulders, which is another sign of a poor posture. Most of the times, a forward head posture and rounded shoulders are seen together in people with poor posture. Another form of poor posture that is commonly seen with these two postures is a rounded or slouched mid back. Most people associate slouching with the lower back and not with the mid back, but interestingly, majority of the people with poor posture exhibit rounding of the mid back or thoracic spine. This trifecta of forward head posture, rounded shoulders and rounded mid back is usually seen in those who sit or drive for prolonged hours, specially reading or working on computers.
Another sign of poor posture that evolves from prolonged sitting is a tilted pelvis. When we sit for long hours the muscles in the front of the tight are in a shortened position due to which the pelvis gets tilted anteriorly or forwards. This can lead to an increase in the curve of the lower back, muscle imbalances in the area, lower back pain, a weak core and other problems such as sciatica and other nerve pains, urinary incontinence, etc.
If you are looking for simple tips and tricks to achieve and maintain a good posture you can jump into my free community here. I have done a training on "Posture Tips and Tricks" and many other free trainings for spinal (back & neck) and joint pain on this community.
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