What is Poor Posture?
Poor posture is a phenomenon we regularly observe in our patients and occurs when certain muscles in your body tighten while others lengthen and become weak. Poor posture typically is a result of one's daily activities and has a strong correlation with a patient’s occupation or hobbies. Good posture contributes to good health (more energy and less fatigue) so it should be thought of as just important as eating right and exercising.
It is said that workers with higher job stress are more likely to develop neck and shoulder pain from poor posture, which is easy to understand since they are likely to be doing lots of repetitive motion or fixed position without frequent breaks.The body responds to these repetitive or fixed activities by orienting itself to that movement, and once the musculoskeletal system is out of alignment, poor posture eventually feels normal. This can happen in the workplace or through certain hobbies as well as your emotional state.
This problem is not exclusive to adults and is often seen in children and teens. Many adults with chronic back pain have developed these from poor posture during childhood. Good posture may be even more important to children because they are growing and tend to be more active, which puts them at even more risk of injury to the spine.
Like many other conditions we treat, poor posture must be analysed before it can be effectively treated. Our examination includes an X-Ray, observation of how you sit and move, and checking spinal alignment, limb measurements, joint mobility and muscle length and strength.
Your recommended therapy will depend on your condition since posture correction relies on muscle tightness and weakness found during examination. This could include heat, massage, stretching and strengthening exercises and supportive measures to treat your spine. Depending on the condition, spinal manipulation may also be required. Of course, education is an important action to prevent poor posture from recurring.
Causes and risk factors
- Sitting or standing for prolonged periods in poor posture
- Carrying heavy backpacks
- Looking at a screen (laptops, smart phones, etc.) below eye level
- Lifting object that are too heavy
- Making the same moves without taking frequent breaks
- Accidents, injuries and falls
- Poor sleep support
- Excessive weight
- Visual or emotional difficulties
- Foot problems or improper shoes
- Weak muscles, muscle imbalance
- Negative self image
- Occupational stress
- Poorly designed work space
Two things that contribute to poor posture are backpacks and computer usage. In the case of backpacks, the weight of the bag causes the shoulders to slump forward effecting the unloaded position. Computer use can cause severe health issues because it deforms the thoracic and cervical spine, and that fact is that most people do not sit with proper posture when using their computers. Whether we’re slouched or sitting cross-legged, poor computer posture encourages us to bend forward, which means we are bending forward when we’re not using our computer. What makes these two activities worrisome is that most of us do this as a large part of everyday life.
If poor posture becomes severe it can have a devastating effect on your health:
- Decrease lung capacity and reduce the amount of oxygen in your body
- Limit your range of motion if muscles are permanently shortened or stretched
- Forward-head position can cause headaches and pain in the shoulders, arms, hands and around the eyes
- Temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ) may be caused or aggravated by faulty posture and cause severe jaw pain
- Chronic low back pain is a common consequences of bad posture
- Poor posture can also add years to your appearance
- Spinal misalignments that interfere with nerve function
Since poor posture often gets worse over time, it’s essential to correct it as soon as possible to prevent serious complications.
When to seek medical care
One way to see if you’re suffering from poor posture is by doing the “Wall Test.”
Stand against a wall with the back of your head touching and your heels six inches from the baseboard
Place your buttocks again the wall
Take your hand and measure the space between your neck and the wall
- Take your hand and measure the space between your lower back and the wall
You should have around two inches between the wall and your neck and one or two inches between the wall and your lower back. If you do not and are experiencing any of the pain described above, you should seek chiropractic attention to restore the normal curves of your spine.
Contact Us for Your Consultation
If you think Chiropractic treatment can help, contact us to schedule a consultation at our Singapore Clinic. The consultation includes:
- X-ray review and measurement
- Lifestyle and activity assessment
- Doctor examination
- Clinic session
- Spinal adjustment
- At-home care recommendations
If new X-Rays need to be taken, they can be done the same day (at an additional cost) as your appointment. Our doctor will also show you some results from previous patients so you can feel confident in the Chiropractic treatment we provide.
We promise to never hard-sell you, because we believe that our patients must be as committed to their treatment as our team is to their care.