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Posture? You don’t even know her!

It is a daily occurrence here at Physio K that a patient will say, my back/neck/shoulder hurts because I have poor posture! Most people believe that by sitting up tall and having a straight back, they have achieved perfect posture.

Well, think again… Over recent years research has shown that the ties between developing low back, or neck pain and the shapes and curves of our posture, are non existent! Researchers have also concluded that postures with a reduced lumbar curve and erect upper back (basically sitting upright) requires increased muscular activity and can cause discomfort and fatigue of those muscles, inevitably leading to pain.

Below, we have listed 4 myths we want to debunk on posture.

Sit Up Straight

There are very few people who haven't heard the phrase, “Sit up straight or you’ll hurt your back!”. While keeping your back straight won’t cause you permanent harm, posture is more about how you feel, rather than how you look. Since every person's body is unique, a pose that works for one, may not work for all.

In reality, the most important posture is one that is comfortable. This does not mean that you may spend the entire day curled up on your bed or on the couch. It means that you shouldn't feel forced into one particular, fixed position. In the end, the best thing is to avoid slouching or hunching your shoulders and keep moving!

Bad posture = PAIN

While it is true that slouching and hunching your shoulders will not lead you to a perfect posture, these issues are not the cause of the pain associated with “bad posture”. The aches and pains we feel in the back may be as a result of a different issue entirely. Think of how tense and slumped your shoulders become on a chilly day. Yes, you will feel the pain in your

mid/upper back but is your back the root issue here? Another example of things that can contribute to back pain is the feet. Changes in gait can lead to improper loading up through the body and manifest as back pain. This is the key to treating back pain - not to look at where it is, but where is it coming from!

Make A Conscious Effort

There aren't many things we can do for self-improvement that won't involve making a conscious effort. However, the issue with constantly actively trying to correct your posture is that it simply doesn't work. Unfortunately, no matter how hard you try, as soon as you take your mind off it, you will forget to maintain your position. So it won't work unless you intend to focus solely on your posture with your mind. Good posture is dynamic, just like our minds. So, as long as you prioritize comfort and movement, good posture will follow.

Sit Still

The changes in good or bad posture happens slowly over time, just like so many other aspects of our physical health. Many of us are under the impression that by actively forcing our bodies to maintain what we believe to be the "perfect posture," it would eventually improve. However, the contrary is actually true. When you don't move enough, a lot of the pain and issues associated with poor posture, such stiffness, will arise. The back is no different from any other part of the body in that it will become more rigid the longer it remains still. Your back needs to move, whether it means occasionally swapping seats or taking a brief stroll. It is recommended to get up from the desk to move approximately every 30 minutes throughout the work day.

These common myths we have discussed are spread by well-meaning individuals, and they may not be completely baseless, most of them are creative spins on the truth.

The primary message is this, your posture should be comfortable, not effortful. If you catch yourself constantly adjusting your posture and still experience pain, contact us for an appointment or book online today!


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