Well…Mom was right!  Turns out that maintaining good posture is quite important, especially as we progress through the lifespan. Directly or indirectly, poor posture results in many orthopedic conditions that require medical attention.  When we talk about posture, the first area many people think about is the spine. Postural faults tend to cause our heads to sit forward of our torso and results in a rounded upper back. This causes excessive stress to the spine, associated musculature, and may even result in compression of the nerves. Even the shoulders are affected by poor posture. Ever have shoulder pain when reaching overhead or throwing a ball? It may be due to your posture!

So why is maintaining good posture so difficult for the majority of us? I think the above picture provides an explanation.

We sit a lot! Think about your daily activities. How many of those activities are performed in front of you with your head looking down at the table or your lap (reading, writing, LOOKING AT YOUR CELLPHONE, eating, working on the computer). Over time, this adds up and the spine starts to conform to this posture setting.

Don’t despair, better posture is not only possible but can be achieved with a combination of stretching, strengthening, and education on improving one’s body mechanics. Even small improvements to one’s posture can have major positive impacts on the stresses our bodies experience. By strengthening the core and muscles in the upper back, your body will naturally hold you in a better position. A little effort on a daily basis can pay huge dividends to keeping your body happy and allowing you to enjoy life. Our skilled physical therapists would be happy to make you a custom plan for improving your posture. Please give any of our five area locations a call and we will quickly get you in for an evaluation.

To your pain-free function,
Kevin Sanborn, PT, DPT, OCS