5 Tips From a Chiropractor for Better Posture

 You may be wondering why your lower back always hurts. Perhaps you suffer from tension headaches or neck pain while working behind your computer. These issues may actually be related! It all comes down to your posture.

You see your posture is your window to your spine. As chiropractors often say: if you are crooked on the outside, chances are you are crooked in the inside. 

Your posture is of vital importance to not only how tall you stand, but to your general mood, demeanour and your overall level of health. Sitting and standing with correct posture, with a natural and neutral alignment, helps your body to function more efficiently with less strain and fatigue. 

Breaking old posture habits can be tough, as they are often learned over long periods of time. However the setting up of newer and better posture habits is the first step in reducing stress and strain on your spine. 

We recently caught up with Dr. Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor) from New World Chiro and we came away with these excellent posture tips. The following 5 tips should prove invaluable to you if you want to improve your posture.

1) Be consistent with your adjustments

Chiropractic adjustments work by the precise application of force to a stuck joint along your spine. Stiff muscles and tight joints often result in pain, aches and restrictions in movement. A series of adjustments work to improve your flexibility, increase joint range of motion and improve your biomechanics. This takes time though, as a chiropractor is looking to improve your structural alignment from the inside out.

If you chiropractor recommends a series of ongoing chiropractic adjustments, say once per week for 6 months, you should have confidence in that recommendation and be prepared to invest the time and energy that is required to see postural improvements.

As with most things in life, a consistent and dedicated approach is often the best way to achieve your desired goal.

2) Avoid sleeping on your stomach

Chiropractors will often ask you about your sleeping habits. As we spend approximately 1/3 of our lives in bed, how you sleep is of vital importance. When you sleep, your body starts to regenerate and heal itself, which is essential if you want to keep functioning at optimal levels.

While you may often think about your posture when you stand or sit, your posture when you sleep is just as important. 

Many people sleep on their backs as it helps to alleviate aches and pains. If you find that sleeping on your back causes you pain, this may be a sign that you have an underlying structural issue that needs attention. 

Sleeping on your side is also a fairly common position. Be mindful of your legs though, try to keep them extended down into the bed, and not up into a ball, as this may lead to a twisting of your spine.

One of the worst positions to sleep in is on your stomach. Why? Because when you sleep on your stomach you place odd pressure on your organs and your body may not fully recharge as it would if you slept on your back. Also by sleeping on your stomach, you are forced to turn your head to one side, which can lead to neck pain, tight muscles and that painful ‘crick’ in your neck.

3) Make exercise a regular habit

One of the best things you can do is to remain as active as possible throughout your day. Chiropractors may often tell you that one of the best ways to prevent back pain is to stay active and mobile. 

You should also aim for at least 2 sessions of active exercise per week. Whether this includes swimming a few laps in your local pool, going for a brisk walk around your neighbourhood or pumping out a weights session in the gym, activity and movement are the keys to more flexible and agile postures.

4) Avoid looking down at phones, screens and computers

We are in the digital age with high speed internet, connected devices and constant social media alerts. Even though we benefit enormously from this, it comes with a down side: text neck. 

Many people look down at their phones, which may cause neck stiffness and pain. Overtime, by repeating this behaviour, you tend to weaken certain muscles and before long, you have a forward head posture.

Looking straight up at a computer screen or phone is preferable as you are in a more comfortable position that will cause less damage to your spine. 

When your head is positioned forward and down, all that weight adds stress to your spinal cord. This may result in pain, discomfort and headaches, not to mention excessive pressure on your nerves. This forward head position also contributes to a reduction in vital organ function, such as your lungs. By having your head positioned down, your chest will concave in, reducing your lung capacity by up to 30%.  

The good news is that text neck can often be avoided by practising good posture habits and by seeing your chiropractor for regular adjustments.

5) Set up your office/desk with best practice ergonomics

When looking to optimise your office ergonomics, there are several areas to consider.

Use a headset: When talking on the phone, switch to a headset instead of holding your phone. This allows you to keep your arms down in a neutral position. It also allows you to take calls standing up or walking around, which increases your activity levels throughout the day.

Adjust your screen height: Avoid looking down at a computer screen that is too low. This may cause similar posture problems as highlighted in point 4. Invest in a laptop screen riser or put your desktop on some books or a shelf so that the top of the screen is at eye level. This will be sure to boost your productivity.

Invest in a supportive chair: A good ergonomically designed office chair will help reduce the incidence of workplace injury and risk. Ergonomic chairs offer great lower back support and should feature adjustable lumbar support and varying height options. Also avoid office chairs with arms at they encourage lazy posture habits to creep in.

Make a stand for better posture

With these 5 tips, you will be well on your way to better health, thanks to great posture. The health of your spine, nervous system and muscles depend largely on how well you function as a whole. What better way to make improvements to your health then from a fundamental level – your underlying posture.

If you want more information, why not give your local chiropractor a call to discuss how they may help you to improve your posture.

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