Slouched posture? It’s something most of us could do with thinking a bit more about.
Chiropractic treatment is most famous for treating muscle and joint aches and pains. As well as using hands-on (manual) techniques (like massage and manipulation) we use a range of other approaches to help when needed.
Here’s some information and self-help tips for slouched posture.
It’s easy to forget our posture whilst working on laptops, looking at our phones or sitting at a desk. Over time, our head moves forwards, our shoulders round and an excessive curvature of the spine occurs on the upper back, putting pressure on muscles and joints.
Ask a friend to take a photo of your front, back and side posture or look in a mirror to check if you are aligned correctly. Sit up straight whilst sitting down, ensuring the back of your head and whole back is against the backrest of the chair. Vary your posture and try to move around a few minutes every hour.
When reading or looking at your phone, bring the object up to you instead of looking down to keep your neck straight, taking tension off joints and muscles. It is also effective to stretch the tight muscles and or strengthen the weak muscles to help ease tension.
Serratus Anterior – Located just below the armpit on the ribs, these stabilise the shoulder blade during arm movements and when pushing objects. These are usually weak.
Trapezius – These are located on top of your shoulders and in between your shoulder blades. The upper Trapezius are often tight and the middle and lower Trapezius are often weak. These muscles shrug the shoulders and move the shoulder blade.
Pectoralis Major – These are often tight, causing rounded shoulders.
Pectoralis Minor – Located deep to the pec major. It is responsible for rounding the shoulders. This is usually tight.
Scalenes – These muscles lift up the top two ribs during breathing, they are often tight due to breathing with our upper chest instead of our abdomen. In between the scalenes, nerves and blood vessels from the neck and the shoulder exit, when tight these can impinge on them.
Serratus Anterior – Get either a weight (2-5kg) or water bottle, lie face up and hold the weight/water bottle up, keeping your arm straight and in line with the shoulder then reach upwards towards the ceiling, keeping your arm straight. Repeat 10 times each side
Trapezius – Sit up straight, drop your shoulders down and move your forearms outwards, making sure the shoulder blades are squeezed together. You can do this with a resistance band. Hold the band in your hands and bring your arms outwards. This strengthens the middle and lower sections of the muscle. Do this 15 times.
Pectoralis Major – Hold your arms with elbows bent against a door or window frame, then lean forward. Hold for 30 seconds then repeat three times.
Pectoralis Minor – Rest your hands on the back of your head, interlinking them with your elbows pointing out, then try and extend your elbows backwards. Hold this for 30 seconds and repeat three times.
Scalenes – Lie face up and put one hand on your upper chest and another on your abdomen, the hand on your abdomen should be moving more than your chest hand. If not, try and practise moving the hand on your abdomen more. To stretch these, tilt your head to one side, rotate your head to the opposite side you are tilting, then tilt your chin up and hold for 30 seconds. You should feel a stretch at the side of the neck. Repeat twice more each side.
A long foam roller for excessive back curvature – lay vertically on the roller so it is touching the whole head and spine. Hold your arms outwards. This will give a nice stretch throughout the back and your pecs.
If the above exercises cause pain, discontinue them and talk to your Chiropractor. Take them to as far as you feel comfortable.
Based in Eastbourne, East Sussex, our team of practitioners cover everything from chiropractic care and sports therapy, to podiatry and nutritional therapy, and have treated thousands of patients across their careers.
If we can help with any of the above please call Lushington Chiropractic on 01323 722499.
For more information on Posture see:
By James Revell
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