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Stand up Straight, Don’t Slouch!

Neck Pain

By: Alyssa Burke, PTA

These instructions sound familiar to anyone? I don’t know about you, but growing up, I constantly heard both of these and, “keep your shoulders back” all the time. Good posture is something that we are taught but don’t always think about as we carry on with our daily activities until we start to notice aches and pains. It’s often easy to see and point out signs of bad posture in other people. It can be harder to notice and break poor postural habits of our own. So what exactly is correct posture? Correct posture is when our joints are aligned properly with little stress placed on our postural muscles and ligaments.

There are many postural muscles in our bodies that help us lie down, sit and stand. When we have poor posture, extra stress is put on these muscles and the ligaments around our joints. This additional stress can cause the muscles to go into overdrive trying to support our bones and joints. Over time, if these bad postural habits go unaddressed, it causes the postural muscles to be overused, weak and stretched out. These impacts only make posture worse and more difficult to correct it.

There are many factors that can cause us to have poor posture. A few you might think of automatically include:

  • Sitting position
  • Sleeping position
  • Repetitive or prolonged movements with poor body mechanics

One of the most common contributors of poor posture is the overuse of cell phones and tablets. Why? Think about when you use these devices. What is your body position like? You are more than likely looking down at a small screen for extended periods of time. Over time, this will put additional stress on the muscles in our necks and backs, which may cause us to feel pain. Another common cause of poor posture is from having a job that requires you to sit at a desk and work on a computer for prolonged hours. Frequently, our workstations are not ergonomically correct. Our computer monitors are not in the correct position in relation to our eyes, our desks are too low or too high and/or the chair we sit in is not adjusted correctly to fit our bodies. These factors can cause us to experience the side effects associated with poor posture.

If you feel like you may have poor postural habits or are experiencing pain from bad posture, you’re in luck! Physical therapy is a conservative treatment method that can help individuals with poor postural habits. At Loudoun Sports Therapy Center, our physical therapists will teach you ways to adjust your work space and home to help improve your postural habits. We will also teach you correct body mechanics and ideal positioning for sitting, standing, and lying down. You’ll also learn strengthening and mobility exercises that will help promote postural stability and endurance. With the help of PT and education on good posture, you’ll be standing tall in no time!

Call Loudoun Sports Therapy Center at 703-450-4300 TODAY and schedule your personalized evaluation. CLICK HERE for a short video on how to properly adjust your car so you demonstrate proper posture while driving. 

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