Does a "standard" or "optimal posture" truly exist? And if it does, what exactly is it?
Posture is primarily a product of our genetics, yet it's also subject to influences from the environment, social factors, and various other forces. Some argue that "good posture" is a position that places minimal strain on the body, particularly on the muscles and ligaments responsible for supporting the body's structure.
One common culprit behind poor posture is a condition known as forward head carriage (FHC), in which the head protrudes in front of the shoulders, causing increased strain on the muscles of the neck and upper back, which work tirelessly to keep the head upright. When assessing the spine from a side view, ideally, the opening of the ear should align with the shoulder, hip, and ankle.
Research has indicated that for every inch (2.54 cm) of FHC, the strain on the neck and upper back muscles intensifies by approximately 10 pounds (4.5 kg). In practical terms, this implies that a 5-inch (~12.7 cm) FHC adds an extra 50 pounds (~22.7 kg) of stress on the neck and upper back muscles as they labor to maintain the head's upright position. So, what steps can we take to enhance our posture?
First and foremost, it's crucial to stay physically active to slow down the natural degeneration that affects our bodies as we "mature" throughout life. This recommendation entails maintaining fitness levels and striving to maintain a healthy BMI (Body Mass Index) by balancing calorie consumption with regular exercise.
Additionally, apart from seeking professional evaluation for tailored spinal care, there are a couple of exercises you can incorporate into your routine to help enhance your cervical posture:
EXERCISE #1 is called a chin tuck. Here, you simply pull your chin inwards, producing a “double chin.” If you do this as far as you can and talk your voice will sound funny (“nasal-like”). Release the tuck until your voice clears. The moment it clears, STOP – that’s your “new” head position. Try to maintain that all day. You will have to remind yourself to “…keep it tucked” frequently at first but as time goes on, it will feel more natural. This can take about three months on average, so BE PATIENT!
EXERCISE #2 will strengthen the deep neck flexor muscles by doing the exact same thing as exercise #1 BUT adds a hand, a towel, or a TheraBand (anything works) for resistance behind the neck so that as you chin tuck, you PRESS the back of your mid-neck into your finger tips (or Band, towel, etc.) and hold for five seconds (then, release slowly). Do this five, ten, or multiple times a day.
There are other exercises but this is a GREAT start! See your doctor of chiropractic for more specific individual needs!
We realize you have a choice in whom you consider for your health care provision and we sincerely appreciate your trust in choosing our service for those needs. If you, a friend, or family member requires care for neck pain or headaches, we would be honored to render our services.
So, if you are experiencing back pain, lower back pain, or pain in the coccyx and type in pain management near me or chiropractor near me, you may find Coast Chiropractic Centers with Dr. Timothy Harcourt, me, comes up.
You may wonder, “Do I need an MRI scan of my back and who in my area can refer me?”
Also, if you feel leg pain it may indicate things are getting worse and may indicate a bulge on the disc or worse yet a herniated disc in your back. Some people will try stretching the lower back first to see if they get relief from their back pain. Pain very low in the lower back may be originating from the coccyx or tailbone. A pulled muscle in the back generally will get better with rest. Persistent or worsening pain intensity and/or frequency necessitates a visit to see a professional around you.
Check out what the experts say about chiropractic care for back pain here:
Call me, Dr. Tim Harcourt, at Coast Chiropractic Centers at (239) 278-3344 or stop by on your day off for a walk in visit and mention this article for an awesome discounted first visit to include history, exam, and adjustment or Class IV high-intensity laser treatment.
So if you find yourself experiencing lower back pain while running or doing physical activities or if you are suffering from back pain that is affecting your quality of life and allowing you to enjoy Fort Myers Beach. Come see us at Coast Chiropractic Centers located on 7270 College Parkway.
If you would like to avoid getting back pain in the first place or to take a proactive approach to your health and wellness nearby, our membership program called Club C may be just the thing for you with great cost savings, convenience, and even more importantly, a plan to get your health back and keep it.
Don't let back pain stop you from enjoying the beautiful SWFL! Dr. Tim Harcourt is here to give you the relief you need.
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