Pick Your Posture
By Dr. Marcello Sarrica, DPT, OCS, COMT, CSCS, Sarrica Physical Therapy & Wellness
STAND UP STRAIGHT! I bet when you were young your mother would always tell you to stop slouching and to fix your posture.
But what’s the importance of maintaining a good posture?
The reasons to maintain a good posture go beyond your appearance. Proper body alignment, or good posture, can help prevent excess strain on your joints, muscles and spine alleviating pain and reducing the likelihood of injury. Having a good posture can boost your confidence and mood. Changing your posture may take some time but it’s never too late to reap the health benefits of improved posture.
So what is it?
Posture is how you hold your body whether you’re standing, sitting, lying down or even moving around. Posture refers to the relative position of your muscles, bones, and other supporting body structures.
Ideal posture vs Poor posture
Ideally, you want your body to be aligned and balanced in a way that your body structures are properly supported and protected. Proper posture provides you with comfort and stability. It will reduce the stress and strain on your muscles, joints and spine, and therefore, decreases the likelihood of pain and injury.
Poor posture, is when the natural spine curves are either flattened or exaggerated, which will ultimately put more strain on your body and will cause increased wear and tear on the spine. It can show up in a variety of forms; poor posture may be due to numerous reasons, such as, weak muscles, muscle imbalances, lack of flexibility, or simply bad habits.
Poor posture may start with issues in the head and neck, most often from bad sitting habits, and has a ripple effect down your body. Poor posture can also result from foot issues, such as flatfeet, and cause a change in the kinetic forces running through your body.
Health Effects of Poor Posture
Poor posture is more than a slouched appearance. Being out of alignment puts greater pressure on your body and increases the wear and tear on your joints and spine. For example, slouching, in which your head is tilted forward your back is rounded, increases the weight your spine must bear.
Some signs and symptoms associated with poor posture include:
- Back and neck pain
- Knee, hip and foot pain
- Shoulder pain and impingement
- Jaw pain
- Breathing problems
If you’re unsure whether you have proper posture or are suffering from back and/or neck pain, you can schedule a physical therapy appointment at Sarrica Physical Therapy & Wellness and other quality clinics through the BetterPT app or BetterPT website. A quality physical therapy clinic will focus on the body’s structural support systems, also known as “the core”. They will assess your posture, identify the root causes of your postural problems, and guide you in identifying the corrective exercises that will improve your posture and ease your pain.
You can now see a physical therapist for postural deficits without needing a doctor’s prescription. Don’t wait to get treated. Be proactive and get BETTER today!
Dr. Marcello Sarrica received his doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2006 from Long Island University. Dr. Marcello Sarrica was awarded the department's highest honor of “clinical excellence.”