When pain strikes, it's common to assume that doing a few key stretches will work out the kinks. Not a bad idea.
BUT, what happens when stretching stops working or isn't enough to make the kind of progress you're hoping for?
What's the one or two things you SHOULD be doing that would DEFINITELY get you over the hump and into a place of more comfort? Is it a different stretch or could it be something different all together?
An important question to consider is this: Are you getting the right balance of flexibility AND strength? Probably not.
Did you know that posture and positioning play a MASSIVE role in your body's ability to overcome injury and that to attain optimal posture it takes a balance of flexibility AND strength? FLEXIBILITY to move your body in a way that allows you to achieve the best position and STRENGTH to stay in that healthy position for extended periods.
So, what is good or bad posture anyway? Good posture does not have to be stiff, rigid and unnatural. Our bodies are designed to move in a variety of different ways. However, we want to make sure we are moving in a ways that is efficient and supported. To do this, it requires a lot of muscle endurance (STRENGTH) to maintain these supported positions, especially if we are in the same position day in and day out.
The good news is there are plenty of things that can be done to improve your posture and that it's never too late! Check out my top 5 tips to improve YOUR posture!
1. Whether you are sitting or standing, think about being as tall as possible. Envision the crown of your head reaching toward the ceiling. As you do this, notice how your body stacks up. Your head comes over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. Your core and postural muscles kick on naturally as you assume this supported position. (Be careful not to arch your back too much when sitting/ standing tall. Try pulling your belly button in to help with this.)
2. If you have a desk job, try pulling your keyboard close to you or get a wifeless keyboard and sit it in your lap. This will help to keep your shoulders back and prevent excess tightness in your chest muscles.
3. Keep your weight evenly distributed on both legs while you're standing. This will help to engage your hip muscles better and avoid placing too much strain through one side of your lower back.
4. Move and change positions frequently. Our bodies are designed for motion, so try to avoid staying in one position for too long (more than 30 minutes). Take a break from sitting and get up to get some water or make a lap around the office. If you're standing for long periods of time, be sure to take a seat.
5. Consult a physical therapist. If you have concerns about your posture and want to be sure you're doing the right things to FIX the problem and stop spinning your wheels with more stretches that don't work, call us today and we'll be happy to talk about what changes can be made to improve your posture and overall health. This could include a detailed full body assessment to identify weak or tight areas, an ergonomic assessment of your workstations, as well as a functional screening to ensure you are able to maintain good alignment with the activities you typically perform.
If you are interested in learning more, you will not want to miss our NEXT WORKSHOP on September 25th where we'll be giving more specific details and tips on how to improve your posture and the kind of positive impact it can have on nagging pain and injuries. Attendance is free but limited to the first 10 people who register. Call us today if you'd like to reserve your seat at (504) 407-3477.