Our body is amazingly adaptable. It will often mould itself to the positions we spend the majority of our time in. If we spend it moving in efficient ways and lifting weights in a healthy manner we will likely end up with an athletic muscular build and posture. However, if we spend the majority of our time sitting for long periods, standing with a hunched posture or performing repetitive heavy lifting with poor technique then we will adapt to this posture and create unhealthy stress on our joints, ligaments, muscles and joint capsules.
The increase of unhealthy stress can cause our spinal structures to tighten and stiffen and ultimately restrict our movement, making it difficult for us to get out of that bad posture on our own. A prolonged unhealthy overload on our joints will often lead to pain and until we correct the stiffness in our joints, muscles and ligaments then that pain can often increase in severity over time.
If treatment is commenced early in the course of postural dysfunction then corrective techniques through exercise is the most effective strategy and will often yield successful results with minimal manual treatment.
What can I do to help my posture?
When the condition has been building up for quite some time then the tissue will have undergone maladaptive changes. It is here that manual therapy will be beneficial to relieve the stiffness throughout the spine and surrounding muscles to allow for appropriate exercise to take place to restore efficient movement and postural patterns.
Two of our top home exercises to improve the flexibility within the joints of the spine are:
Foam roller thoracic extension to improve the mobility of the spine
Foam roller thoracic rotation to improve the sync between the shoulder girdle and the spine
Working with the right health professional to help you get where you want to be
Once movement within the joints has been restored then strengthening exercises focussing on efficient movement patterns will be essential to maintain the correct posture and movement technique.
It is here that working within a team of health professionals involving physiotherapists and exercise physiologists can be superior to return you to a pain free life and work capable of achieving all your goals.