Maintaining correct posture is one of the most important things you can do for your spine to keep it healthy over time. If you have lost your natural spinal curves through neglecting your posture, these can be regained but you may find that you will need to regain the lost muscle strength that allowed you to maintain good posture. One of the most common things that we hear is that you experience pain correcting your posture, or aching between the shoulder blades when trying to sit up straight over a long period of time, or an uncomfortable feeling.
Often we expect our bodies to just be able to bounce back from injury or after being more inactive for awhile, but it needs time to adjust to new behaviour – almost as if you were starting from the beginning again. For example, if you were a regular swimmer but took a complete break for 6 months, you wouldn’t expect to go back to swimming for the distance or time that you were swimming before, straightaway. You would likely ease yourself back into the sport slowly over the course of a few weeks or months. The same goes for correcting your posture, you may find it more difficult in the beginning but eventually with persistence you will find it becomes much easier.
How To Improve Your Posture
Once the muscles have regained their strength, you will find it becoming easier and easier to maintain the posture and it will become more second nature. If you can do that while you’re at your desk, but find that you’re neglecting your posture on your way to work – for example spending the journey with your head down, looking at your phone – you may find holding your phone up at eye-level to provide respite for your neck.
In order to hold the phone up, you may find investing a small amount of money in a ‘pop-socket’ to be helpful, as these provide a grip for your hand to hold the phone upright. If you regularly take telephone calls you may also find it beneficial to invest in bluetooth headphones, or regular headphones with a microphone, so that you’re not straining your neck when using the phone as well.
If you’re actively trying to improve your posture, but finding the pain or discomfort overwhelming, you need to distinguish whether what you’re feeling is normal and can be worked through, or may require further investigation. If you’re experiencing pain in your back that makes it difficult for you to stand up straight, and this is constant, you may find it more beneficial to visit your local chiropractor or osteopath to help with treatment to relieve the pain, alongside working on your posture. Likewise, if you’re experiencing symptoms that are outside of the spine, for example tingling, weakness or numbness into the arms and fingers, or legs and toes, you may require further investigation to see if you potentially have nerve compression that needs to be addressed.
Visiting your local professional will allow you to get more difficult issues dealt with, and they can also provide you with more specific advice on how to correct your posture and strengthen your spine. If you’re experiencing more generalised pain or fatigue in your muscles, you know this is actually down to them working harder than usual and is completely to be expected with this kind of problem.
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