Physiotherapy Exercises to Correct Bad Posture
We often overlook the importance of good posture. Standing tall and sitting straight are two factors that influence our health, physical well being and confidence.
Strangely enough, many people suffer from the negative effects of bad posture and do not try to assess the problem.
What is Poor Posture?
Slouching, rounded shoulders and a hunched back are evidence of poor posture. Poor posture is when the spine has lost is natural curvature in which the joints, muscles and vertebrae are curved in stressful positions. Body aches and pain in the upper or lower back, neck, shoulders and arms can be caused by poor posture.
There are many ways to adopt poor posture and many factors which contribute to this condition. This can include prolonged periods of sitting, a sedentary lifestyle, poor core stability, joint stiffness, muscle weakness and muscle tightness.
Correcting Bad Posture through Physiotherapy
A trained physiotherapist can assess and diagnose your postural habits and help you develop a proper stance. A proper stance means that your back is straight, chest is up and out and your belly is completely tucked in.
The following is a list of strategies used to improve poor posture by physiotherapists:
- Postural education and training
- Manual therapy and soft tissue massage
- Joint mobilisation
- Advice regarding ergonomic workstation
- Corrective exercises to improve flexibility and strength
Physiotherapy Posture Exercises
There are certain exercises that will help you develop proper posture – with a little effort you will be able to sit straight, stand tall and look confident. These exercises should be performed 3 – 5 times daily.
While standing in a doorway, place your arms up on the door jam and place one foot forward through the doorway as shown. Next, move forward, bending the front knee until a stretch is felt along the front of your chest and/or shoulders. Your upper arms should be horizontal to the ground and forearms should lie up along the door frame. Then try the stretch with the arms slightly higher and again with the arms lower to find where you feel the best stretch.
Shoulder Blade Squeeze:
Begin sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight. Squeeze your shoulder blades together, moving them down slightly rather than lifting the shoulders toward your ears as they go back, without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch. Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain-free. Repeat 3 – 5 times daily.
Begin sitting or standing tall with your back and neck straight, shoulders should be back slightly. Tuck your chin in slightly without pain and provided you feel no more than a mild to moderate stretch. Keep your eyes and nose facing forwards. Hold for 2 seconds and repeat 10 times provided the exercise is pain-free. Repeat 3 – 5 times daily.
If you are looking to improve your posture, contact us now to book an appointment. A physiotherapist is the ideal health professional to assess your posture style and provide you with the right treatment to correct your stance.