Posture – introduction

Tim-Judd-ThumbnailOsteopath and wellness expert Tim Judd will help you understand and implement good everyday postural habits at home and in the workplace.

Your posture describes how you present to the tasks that you do in every day life, how you stand, how you sit and how you walk. Do you stand and walk tall or do you slouch and slump or somewhere in between. Do you sit more upright at your workstations or do you slouch and slump over it.

Poor-posture-slouchSlouching and slumping puts unnecessary strain on your neck, shoulders and upper back. Bad posture causes a domino effect of pain and discomfort throughout your whole body.

There are many reasons for your posture that you have. One is that you genetically inherited it. Some of us inherit a very upright posture while others inherit a very slumped posture. Then there is environmental and psychological issues. You mayGood-Posture have done a lot of heavy work when young causing great strain on the undeveloped musculoskeletal system. Some women have very heavy breast tissue, which causes an increase in curve of the spine to accommodate the increased weight. Or occupational where you bend over a particular task for long periods and this has become a habit. Breast feeding is another common cause of the slumped presentation. You may have contracted an illness, like Scheuermann’s as a teen-ager or arthritis or an immune disorder when you were older. Then there is gravity pulling us into the ground.

Posture is often a reflection of how you think and feel. When you feel confident and happy you are more upright but when you are feeling down and depressed your posture comes down with it. This can start at adolescence where there is a culture of slouching around. This can become habitual and stay with some all their lives.

Slouching-NeckThere is only one problem with posture, the greater the increase in curve of the upper back, the greater the strain on the body. Regardless of how it looks, the muscles across the back of your shoulders and the muscles that run up and down your spine have to work much harder. They are continuously under strain trying to stop your shoulders dropping off the front and your upper back collapsing forward. This causes muscle strain and pain.

An increased curve in the upper back also puts greater pressure on your abdominal contents affecting the respiratory diaphragm influencing the way you breathe. As the curve in your upper back increases you need to tiltUpper-back-whale your head back to keep it level. This places a great strain on your neck possibly leading to headaches. This whole postural mechanism creates muscle tension.

The greater the deviation from the more upright posture, the greater the tension and the greater the pain.

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