In today’s sedentary world where man and machine work in tandem, having good posture is extremely important for our health.
Indeed, as we age, posture plays a vital role in determining the optimal functioning of the body. Regrettably, many of us fail to adopt healthy posturing techniques during these youthful years, resulting in the proverbial ‘hunchback’ shape in the latter stages of our lives.
In worst case scenarios, this hunchback position causes intense pressure on the back, the shoulders, and the internal organs. In turn, head droops forward, applying stress and strain to the chest cavity. Moreover, in this position, the lungs are unable to fill completely with air, resulting in chronic respiratory problems.
Lastly, the hunchback posture causes the pelvis to rotate in a backward or forward motion away from its focal point; making sitting up straight, or even walking an extreme burden to your back!
Ideally, practicing good posture habits not only yields a myriad of future health benefits but also increases your energy levels. The main reason for this is because as you strive to maintain good posture, the muscles attached to your back will have to work harder to maintain an erect trunk.
The same concept is applied in exercise. One is able to exert greater power when they adopt a good posture and lift much heavier weights without getting an injury.
Additionally, studies have confirmed that good posture is directly linked with greater confidence, as well as feelings of youth and exuberance.
How to Determine Whether You Have Bad Posture or Not
The easiest way to determine whether you have bad posture is to perform the wall test.
Start by standing up straight against a vertical wall. If your head, upper back, and rear of the calves touch the wall comfortably, then you have perfect posture. Alternatively, if you feel some kind of strain while doing this, then there might be deviations in your posture.
Ideally, another test that you can perform to determine whether or not you have good posture is the string test.
Look for a piece of string and tie it to the ceiling. Ensure it is long enough to hang down until it almost touches the floor. You can attach a small weight to the end of the string to ensure it stays straight.
Stand next to the string and take a photo.
If you have good posture while standing next to the string, it should resemble a line slicing through your ear, cutting at the center position of your shoulder, running right down the middle of the pelvis, all the way to the feet.
What Types of Posture Deviations Are There?
Human beings are unique in that they have different shapes and sizes. This uniqueness also affects the structure of our spine.
Nevertheless, one common factor in most of us is that we do not have a straight backbone. Indeed, the average spine has curves at the top, bottom, and the back. The problem arises when these curves are too prominent since you’re going to be more susceptible to serious health issues.
Kyphosis is the word that refers to the condition where the spine curves out too much at the top into a rounded shape. If the spine is curved too much at the bottom, the condition is referred to as lordosis. On the other hand, it the spine curves from side to side, the condition is called scoliosis.
When the thoracic vertebrae bone becomes curved and overstretched, experts in the medical field refer to that as the Kelso’s hunchback. It is important to note that there’s a certain degree of spinal curvature that is considered normal. It is only when the curvature exceeds a certain threshold that attention to rectify is needed.
The 4 popular Kyphosis types are congenital kyphosis, Degenerative Kyphosis, Postural Kyphosis, and Scheuermann’s Kyphosis.
Corrective measures need to be implemented when the spine excessively curves inwards. During treatment, it’s a good idea to comprehend how the spine handles mechanical stress during movement. To ensure that the back’s shock absorbers are fully functional, and the neutral spine position is maintained, there’s a need to focus more on the abdominal muscles.
The key reason as to why Lordosis develops is because of imbalances that exist in muscle length and strength. Pregnancy is one of the instigators of Hyper-Lordosis. In children, deficiency in Vitamin D can result in early Lordosis.
It’s not uncommon to hear people complain about pain in the leg joints when they are afflicted by Lordosis. Once the symptoms begin to kick in, it’s advisable to start a regimen that focuses on correcting the posture in a bid to avoid the effects of swayback.
If your job entails spending extended periods of time seated, then, you need to ensure that you take proper care of your back. To cure Lordosis, a lot of standing exercise is required. This is because standing tends to stretch muscles in the lower body. In effect, pressure on the lower back is eased and moving about becomes less of a struggle.
The lateral curvature of the spine is called scoliosis. When the bending in the spine occurs, the spine tends to twist towards the frontal region of the body. In so doing, the ribs get pulled out of place and one side of the back appears to be placed higher than the other. If left unchecked, the condition may lead to the breastbone changing shape.
The four popular types of scoliosis are Degenerative, Neuromuscular, Idiopathic and Congenital Scoliosis.