Without a doubt, bad posture is one of the most common physical problems we see as physical therapists. In fact, for some, it’s nearly impossible to avoid it. An enormous percentage of full-time jobs and other activities create bad posture, leading to its considerable commonality. Poor posture, or postural dysfunction, is the result of subjecting the spine to long periods of unnatural positioning. Usually, our patients job causes bad posture. However, there are several other possible causes, ranging from leisure activities to sedentary lifestyles or acute/chronic injuries.
At Lake Shore Physical Therapy, we guide our patients through specific exercises that engage the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Physical therapy is an effective way to correct poor posture, with zero surgeries or addictive painkillers. Also, luckily, some very simple exercises can help. In this post, we’ll discuss three of them.
1. Reverse Plank Bridge
Without a doubt, this is among the most efficient ways to correct poor posture. The Reverse Plank Bridge both engages and stretches numerous muscles that regulate posture. Specifically, it activates neck muscles and ligaments as well as pectorals.
First, keep your arms straight and rotate your shoulders to warm them up a little. Next, pull the shoulders back and bring your shoulder blades together. Tuck your chin in, pressing your chest upwards and extending your spine. You may keep your fingers pointing either forwards or backwards. A common fitness myth insists that your fingers must points forwards; this is 100% false. The important thing is to ensure you’re extending your spine and maintaining the correct form.
2. Posture Belt
Of course, few posture-correcting methods are as effective as the product developed specifically for this purpose. Many experts recommend wearing the posture belt throughout the first few hours of your day for maximum efficacy. Dr. Amir Vookshor, spinal neurosurgeon and chief of spine at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California, recommends purchasing a soft, malleable belt. Ultimately, a posture belt’s central goal should be to continuously activate our muscles. Therefore, soft models will remind our bodies and postural muscles of the correct position to be in.
To use the posture belt, first place the strap over your upper back with the ends held in each hand. Next, drape each strap’s end over its corresponding shoulder, crossing it in the back. Pull on each strap, and you should feel your trapezius (center back) muscles engaging, then secure the strap in front of you.
One of the most undeniably simple exercises is also among the most effective for posture correction. Also, planking delivers a wide variety of other benefits, like engaging numerous muscles from the core to biceps. Planking is excellent for much more than posture correction – it can ease back pain, improve core definition and performance, reduce the risk of spinal injury, boost metabolism, improve flexibility, balance, and more. Therefore, if you eventually correct your posture, you should continue planking on a regular basis.
Start in the plank position with your forearm and toes on the floor, keeping your torso straight and body in a straight line from ears to toes. Make sure you don’t droop or bend as you plank, relaxing your head and looking down at the floor. In the beginning, plank for intervals of ten seconds. As you continue over time, increase these intervals, adjusting consistency and intensity, working up to 35, 40 and 60 second intervals.
Conclusion – Lake Shore Physical Therapy
For poor posture, or any other bodily imperfection, physical therapy is the most reliable treatment when all others fail. Good posture is one of the core ways of maintaining overall health, wellness and physical stability. It can help you build strength in the areas that you experience the most chronic pain and decimate the tension in your neck, shoulders and back.
In addition, good posture can boost your energy, improve your breathing, greatly reduce risk of sports injuries and more. If you find it difficult to perform these exercises alone, our team of certified physical therapists can work with you to develop an individualized treatment plan that’s best for you.