Posture for a Healthy Back
Recent research and functional imaging of the brain continues to reveal the interrelationship between pain, poor muscle control, and poor postural and movement strategies.
Just having mobilization or manipulation, joint and ligament stretching and or strengthening is not enough to address the complex interrelationship between available mobility of the human body and the integration of volitional motor strategies. So, what does all of this mean?
It means that we can do all the great things like go to the gym, lift weights, and stretch but equally important is maintaining good posture during rest, sitting, standing, and walking.
Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least amount of strain is placed on the supporting muscles and ligaments during weight bearing activities. The following lists some statements related to corrected posture:
- Keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that the muscles are being used properly
- Decrease the stress on the ligaments holding the spine together.
- Prevents the spine from being fixed in abnormal or tightened positions. This can restrict blood flow and cause pain
- Prevents fatigue because the muscles are being used more efficiently allowing the body to use less energy.
- Prevents strain or overuse syndromes
- Prevents back and muscle aches and pains which can worsen over time
- Contributes to a good appearance and positive outlook
A fairly new statement is hitting the news and research environments.: “Sitting is the new smoking” This means that sitting for long periods of time can be just as bad for our health as smoking. Many Americans sit up to 13 hours/day. This includes having a sedentary job, driving to and from work, and sitting in one’s favorite chair watching TV or reading face book after work. Recent studies show that this may add to the risk of obesity, Diabetes, and heart disease.
So most of us know that we need to sit up, keep our back straight, and distribute our body weight evenly over the hips with our feet flat on the floor. Indeed, this is a great start, however there is more.
Mechanically there can be various corrections individually outlined depending on your body type, structure, and spinal alignment. Facilitating your core muscles even while in supported sitting is a fundamental start. Shifting your weight slightly forward, off the “sits bones” and correct your head position is the next step.
If this is something that interests you, and you would like some direction in improving your posture, contact one of the therapists at Center for Advanced Orthopedics, MMI Frederick or Hagerstown to have a thorough evaluation that incorporates Functional Manual Therapy for your optimum alignment.