Back pain – Habitual bad posture, such as slumping while sitting or sleeping on your stomach, can place long-term pressure on low back and shoulders, creating neck or back pain.
- More prone to muscle strain– When you stoop or slouch, your muscles and ligaments struggle to keep you balanced – which can lead to muscle strains.
- Compensation– Imbalances in the spine can trigger issues in indirect regions that may be compensating as a result.
- Depression – Lack of adequate muscle flexibility and strength, abnormal joint motion in the spine and other body regions will lead to overall fatigue. Fatigue can lead to depression.
Effects of Good Posture
- Overall Good Health – Since your spine is related to the nerves that control your entire body, it is not an overstatement to say that good posture can truly bring overall good health to the body.
- Muscle Strength – Having correct posture means that you are using the right muscles with the right amount of strength to align your body properly. This means that there is less chance of compensation.
- Looking & Feeling Younger – Great posture will make you look more confident, thinner and taller instead of a stooped posture — rounded and narrow shoulders, and compressed chest — which makes you look older than your actual age.
- Brain Enhancements – A study found that when we sit up straight, we are more likely to remember positive memories, think of something positive in general, and have better decision making.
Mobility tools and ergonomic supports to improve your posture:
Foam rollers are great tools to loosen up tight muscles and increase the mobility of your back.
Black Foam Roller – rolling your upper back can improve spine mobility and decrease hunchback posture which can occur by sitting at a desk all day.
Lay the foam roller across the spine in the middle of your back right below your shoulder blades. Your knees should be bent, feet firmly planted against the ground, and hands comfortably behind your head. Lifting your hips off the ground, roll forward so the foam roller travels down your back an inch, then drop your hips to the floor. Repeat until the foam roller is hovering a couple inches below your neck, then slowly roll back down following the same pattern. If you feel any areas of stiffness, stay roll back and forth on top of the area for 10-15 seconds.
Stealth Align Foam Roller – This foam roller is engineered to provide deeper and more targeted pressure relief. The center channel allows the spine to be controlled while rolling, and the raised diamond patterns on both the left and right center wheels to get deep into the muscles.
You can use the Stealth Align Foam Roller in the same fashion as the above directions. This can also be used on other areas on the body.
Interested in trying these? Dr. Sullivan has both foam rollers at the office. Feel free to try them out and receive a quick training during one of your visits!
Purchase the black foam roller at the office or on amazon and the Stealth Align Foam Roller on RogueFitness.
Lumbar supports are one of the most common go-to’s to help correct posture, especially if you have a job that requires you to sit often or drive.
The Sitback Backrest Cushion – This is designed to give support and comfort to your lower back which will help correct posture while sitting. The backrest is lightweight, and can easily be attached to most chairs, placed in cars, and also on couches at home.
The Original McKenzie® Lumbar Roll™ – This lumbar support is moisture-wicking and provides optimal stabilization. It is the only lumbar support approved for use with the McKenzie Method®.
The Original McKenzie® night roll™ – The Original McKenzie® night rollTM is designed to compensate for poor sleeping positions by supporting the spinal structures and maintaining proper lumbar posture while on the side or back. Tying easily around the waist, this pillow has exclusive tapered ends for comfort and freedom of movement without loss of support. The night roll features a removable and washable slipcover.
Thoracic Lumbar Back Support™ – This support contours to the entire back, from the neck to the lower back. The design helps to align the thoracic spine, encourages neutral shoulder positioning which opens up the chest, and corrects the positioning of the lumbar spine by supporting a healthy lumbar lordosis.
IntelliSkin – IntelliSkin is posture apparel, that can provide immediate pain relief, improved performance, reduced injuries, and Best of all, and improved long-term posture improvement. IntelliSkin takes the idea of Kinesio taping a step further, using highly-engineered posture apparel to stimulate the body’s natural healing process by aligning and compressing soft tissue injuries in the direction of relief. Try these posture aids to improve your posture.