Daily Habits That May Affect Your Posture

Daily Habits That May Affect Your Posture

chiropractic clinic talks about bulging discs

This last year has caused us to change our daily routines.  Most of us are more sedentary than before, and many of us are more dependent on our electronic devices.  These changes have been having a physical strain on our bodies.  And something as small as a change in our daily habits and posture can have huge consequences. In this article I will cover the three main causes of posture problems and how to do a quick posture check at home.

According to the website, eMarketer, the average person spends 3 hours and 6 minutes on their smartphone per day. Most of us tend to look down when looking at our phones. When looking down for a long period of time, you may start to feel a crick in your neck. This is known as “Text Neck”. Over time, this poor posture can cause neck pain, headaches, brain fog, and fatigue. This is due to stress on the nerves in the neck. Symptoms are your body's way of telling you  there is something wrong, and it is up to you to fix it! One solution is to spend less time on your devices such as a phone or a laptop. People who spend a lot of time reading or doing puzzles can also experience the same type of neck issues. If this has been a problem for a long time, you may benefit from seeing a chiropractor. A chiropractor helps to relieve stress on the nervous system which in turn helps to relieve your symptoms.

With the increased time at home, many of us have been sitting a lot more.  In fact, the Washington Post states that an average person sits 6.5 hours a day, and recently we sit more than that!  This can cause low back pain, hip pain, and even digestive issues. If you have a couch that you sink into when you sit on it, it is not adequately supporting your pelvis and low back. Recliners can also increase poor posture because you sit on your tailbone rather than your butt and sometimes even tilt your head forward causing more neck and shoulder pain.

One solution to this is to alternate between sitting and standing roughly every 45 minutes. If you sit all day at work, try using a sit to stand desk. If you are at home, walk around, change positions or chairs, and stand and stretch

Your mattress may also be causing some stress on your body if it is past its prime. If possible you can purchase a new mattress.  You spend 6-9 hours a night sleeping and that posture is important too!

If you spend a lot of time standing, your poor posture can be starting with your feet. Your shoes create the base for your whole body. If you aren’t wearing shoes with proper support you could be causing yourself multiple areas of joint pain. Non supportive shoes can also cause issues in the feet such as plantar fasciitis or fallen arches.  Making sure your shoes have a good arch support is a great first step, but if you are still experiencing pain after you have switched to a better shoe, you may need custom orthotics.

At our Beaver Dam office we have the ability to scan people’s feet and order custom orthotics. Everyone’s feet are different and that is why a general brand of orthotic you find at your local convenience store may not relieve your problems. Also, your orthotic should move with your foot. Some orthotics are made out of hard plastic which can cause less movement in the foot, making your problems worse.

What does good posture look like? Let's start by looking at the body from the side. (This might be easier to do with a partner). When looking at the side of the body, the head should sit directly above the shoulders. The hole in your ear should line up with the tip of the shoulder. The shoulders should not be rounded forward, and your arms should relax nicely at your side. There should be a slight curve outward in you midback and a slight curve inward in your low back.

When looking at the front of the body, you should notice that your shoulders and hips are even or level.  You should be able to draw a straight line at the tops of both ears that would be parallel to the ground.   If you notice that your ears, shoulders, or hips are uneven you should go see a chiropractor. Poor posture adds a lot of stress to the body causing you to experience symptoms. A chiropractor will help you correct the misalignment and figure out  how you can make changes in your life to correct the cause of the poor posture.

I hear it all the time as a chiropractor, “Oh, I know my posture is terrible.” But poor posture is not a problem that can be ignored.The longer you wait to take care back and neck, the longer it takes to fully heal and the more you are missing out on a pain free way of life.