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Part 2

Poor Posture & Pain

            A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. It can start with… Fatigue – your muscles have to work hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture. You waste energy just moving, leaving you without the extra energy you need to feel good.

            Tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs – by this stage, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. More than 80% of the neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture.

            Joint stiffness and pain – at risk for “wear and tear” arthritis, or what is termed degenerative osteoarthritis. Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years.

Self-Test for Posture Problems

            The Wall Test – Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. With your buttocks touching the wall, check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall. If you can get within an inch or two at the low back and two inches at the neck, you are close to having excellent posture. If not, your posture may need professional attention to restore the normal curves of your spine.

Lifestyle Tips for Lifelong Good Posture

  • Maintain a healthy weight – excess weight, especially around the middle, pulls on the back, weakening stomach muscles.
  • Develop a regular program of exercise – regular exercise keeps you flexible and helps tone your muscles to support proper posture.
  • Buy a good mattress- a firm mattress will support the spine and help maintain the same shape a person with good upright posture.
  • Pay attention to injuries from bumps, falls and jars – injuries in youth may cause growth abnormalities or postural adaptations to the injury or pain that can show up later in life.
  • Have your eyes examined – a vision problem can affect the way you carry yourself as well as cause eye strain.
  • Be conscious of where you work – is your chair high enough to fit your desk? Do you need a footrest to keep pressure off your legs?

Stand Tall and Stay Healthy!

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