Poor Posture

We’re starting a new series all about common physio injuries we see with a dive into poor posture. This is something we can all resonate with, and at the Physio Shop, an issue we see constantly, even when it’s not immediately apparent posture is causing aches or pains. We’ll keep updating this page with new information over the next little while, so be sure to keep an eye for updates too!

PS if we find people enjoying this type of content we’ll keep pushing it out so please let us know!

And with that, let’s dive into it. Keep in mind, we’re not going to focus on treatment plans in this blog, because realistically every issue we encounter is unique and needs to be assessed individually. Rather, we’ll do our best to help you become aware of what poor posture looks like, and some really simple suggestions to improve your awareness of your own posture throughout the day. And remember the best you can do is get an individual assessment from a registered physio!

What is poor posture:

Poor posture boils down to putting your spine in unnatural positions, where the loads on your spine are distributed unevenly. Basically, your spine is unsupported. That means areas of stress develop on your muscle tissue or spinal joints until posture is corrected or until it accumulates (that’s usually when you’ll start to feel pain).

Once pain starts to creep in as a result of poor posture, it’s critical that you see a physio (before you feel pain is ideal, and sooner is always better!). The type of pain can vary, and take many forms, from aches to sharp pains in severe cases. Poor posture can cause pain, stiffness, weakness from your back, core, abdominal muscles to your lower back.

What does Poor Posture Look Like (it can vary a lot)

There’s a bunch of ways poor posture can manifest, whether its standing, sitting or something in between. We’ve highlighted some common instances of poor posture that we see in our clients. some examples. Hover over each image for a few notes on simple tips to improve day to day.

Poor Posture While Standing

In any of these situations, you’ll notice the spine is in an unusual, or unsupported position. You’ll frequently see glute and core exercises recommended by a physio in order to strengthen those weakened muscles. An easy way to begin correcting the issue, is to be aware of your body position and start self correcting the posture – shoulders back (not rounded), flat back and balanced (middle stance).

Quick Tips

(photo from The Physio Company)

  • Balanced upright posture
  • Spine aligned throughout body (middle stance)
  • Hips even and not leaning on one leg.

Poor Posture While Sitting

Slouching is a classic case, and we’ve all done it. You may notice that discomfort doesn’t always occur, and that’s part of the issue, strain and tension is placed on your muscles and soft tissues over long periods of time. It’s important to sit upright, and take frequent stretch breaks to move around.

Quick Tips

Poor Posture While On a Device

Using your phone makes you prone to all sorts of poor posture. There’s been recent studies showing that looking straight down at your phone puts a lot of pressure on your neck and back. This article reviews the study and outlines what exactly it means. The main take? It’s best to keep your phone at eye level, or lay down while using it!

Quick Tips

Image from Breaking Muscle

At this point, you might also want to think of a few exercises you can do to help alleviate some of the negative effects of poor posture. We have a blog we’re we outline some simple exercises for poor posture you can do from home that might help. 

Ultimately, the most important thing to remember is to be aware of your body as you sit, stand or move about throughout the day. Ask yourself, is my spine in an awkward position? Is it supported by the rest of my body at this angle? Starting with a healthy awareness, followed by simple corrective actions will go a long way towards helping you feel a little less achy each day. As always, we recommend getting checked out by a physio so they can help you come up with a custom game plan.

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The Physio Shop specializes in evidence-based physiotherapy and massage therapy in a sweet commercial drive clinic, with a friendly barbershop feel. Plus, we do virtual sessions too, because 2020 right? If you’re dealing with nagging aches and pains, schedule a session with our finest Physiotherapists or Massage Therapists today. Or stop by and say hello to Sophie, that works too.

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