Posture and Back Pain

Balanced89b7a4.1Good posture is a state of muscular and skeletal balance.  This protects the body against injury and dysfunction. Nearly 90% of American adults suffer from back pain.  Many have no idea of what is causing their pain or aggravating their symptoms.  For most, posture plays a critical role. Proper posture reduces strain to the back, neck, hips, knees and even feet.

New research shows that posture plays a role not only in appearance, but also on the mind. Holding oneself in a powerful, expansive pose has been shown to increase testosterone and lower cortisol, a stress hormone. The body actually convinces the brain that it has power.  The brain responds by generating different hormones that help us change our performance, reduce stress and increase our feelings of strength.

Simple Standing Posture Tips:
1.  Shorten the foot to make a “dome” under the arches.
2. Keep your weight back over your heels and push through the heels to lengthen the spine.
3. Squeeze your buttocks to set the pelvis in a neutral position.
4. Circle your shoulders up, backwards and drop them.
5. Drop the front of the ribcage downwards.
5. Lift your heart.
6. Bring your head back over the shoulders, hips and ankles.

Clearly, we all can benefit with a more thorough postural evaluation and there are entire books written solely written on posture.  Tightness in certain areas or weakness can make proper standing posture challenging. Proper instruction from a physical therapist can help retrain deeply ingrained faulty patterns that may be causing pain and dysfunction.

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