You may have heard the following phrases growing up:
“Stand up straight!”
“Don’t slouch in your chair like that!”
If you have, this was most likely your parents attempt at warning you about the perils of bad posture.
Despite the endless exhortations to carry yourself as upright as possible… Well, it’s not always so easy to remember your parents’ orders, is it? That comfy couch, roomy chair, convenient counter top – everywhere you look, there are plenty of places that beckon toward the slouch, slide-down or sidle-up toward comfort.
The Elusive Search for Correct Posture
But as the American Physical Therapy Association (AMTA) notes, comfortable can also correlate with correct posture. Consider it the “Goldilocks” principle – you don’t want to be too slouched over, or too ramrod straight. You want to be “just right,” somewhere in the middle.
And remember, good posture means day-long habits. Some people regard posture as how you sit in a chair, while others judge it on how you stand or walk. No matter what you’re doing, posture matters.
Symptoms of Poor Posture – and Possible Remedies
Here are 4 signs of poor posture, and what you can do to help fix the problem.
- Back pain – Lower back pain is the result of constant slouching, but can also be caused by plenty of other things. To relieve the pain, try abdominal exercises; when you tighten up your front, it usually helps out the opposite side. You can also get a new office chair. Find out which pieces of furniture you’re on most days, and adjust those as needed.
- Curved lower spine – Also referred to as “Donald Duck posture,” this symptom shows an exaggerated curve in the lower spine, resulting in the buttocks sticking out more than usual. This one’s tough to target sometimes, because lifestyle habit tweaks might not be effective. If you have this posture, check with your doctor or chiropractor to determine the severity. A few exercises that may help include planking and hip flexor stretches.
- Slumped shoulders – If you’re an office worker, or spend a lot of time in front of a computer, you may have this symptom. Over time, slumped shoulders can contribute to shoulder pain, neck discomfort and can also set off a “domino effect” of posture-related problems in other parts of the body. To straighten those slumped shoulders, try moving around a little more during your work day. Take a walk at lunch, go visit a co-worker in accounting or move around more during the day – it’s a great way to achieve ideal posture.
- “Text neck” – As smartphone use has increased, so has neck pain. Excessive phone time usually means a forward-leaning neck, called “text neck.” Other than discarding your smartphone forever, you can deliberately hold your phone higher to avoid excessive strain. Massages help, too.
Carry yourself with better posture, and you’ll see and feel the difference. Posture is just one element of great health. A dependable, convenient medical care facility nearby helps, too. Banner Urgent Care has over 40 clinics to help with muscle pain, flu shots, physicals and more. Check out our urgent care center locations, or call our office at (480) 988-9108 to learn more about UCE.
Thanks again for reading our blog – and if you’ve been slouched over while reading this, try some of our suggested remedies!