There is a good chance you may have been told by a concerned family member to keep your back straight. This is one of the more common signs of a bad posture habit, and as has been proven through studies in recent years, poor posture can lead to poor physical and mental health. Still there are a lot of bad posture habits (sometimes referred to as “Alignments”) that can go unnoticed.
These tend to be more subtle than the typical office chair hunching or moody slouching. Regardless, they can still have an effect on your body by overworking some muscle groups while leaving others underworked. One of the most common results of unchecked bad posture is lingering lower back pain. If you are looking to improve your posture, here are some of the more subtle bad habits to watch out for.
What to look for: To say someone is pigeon toed is to say that when they are walking, their toes are reflexively pointing inward. This is a bad posture habit that is caused by weak glutes.
How to fix it: Lie on your left or right side and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle, while keeping your heels together. Raise the higher knee upward, but keep your hips still. To visualize what this looks like, think of how a clam opens up, where one side of it splits open and the other side stays together. Keep that higher knee up for five seconds, then lower for one rep. To help remedy this bad posture habit, it is recommended to do two to three sets of twelve reps daily.
What to look for: The anterior pelvic tilt is one of the more subtle bad posture habits, mainly because it’s so common. It is visualized by having the upper half of your body sticking out a bit more forward from the lower half of your body. Imagine someone you have seen walking where their stomach is leading the body’s motions, and that is somebody who most likely has the anterior pelvic tilt. It is caused by weak abdominals, tight hips, and weak glutes.
How to fix it: Put your right foot flat on the floor while your left leg is kneeling down. Keep your hands on your hips and slowly stretch forward until you can feel the stretch at your left hip. Then, tighten your left glutes, take your left hand up, and stretch to the right. Hold the position for 30 seconds, doing so will count as one rep. The stretches will work your muscles to prevent them from going back into a poor posture position. Each side should have three treps done.
What to look for: As the name implies, this bad posture habit is shown by your head leaning slightly forward ahead the rest of your body. It is caused by weak neck muscles, and puts unnecessary stress on your spine as your head is actually quite heavy.
How to fix it: Ironically, the exercise to fix this posture habit requires you to move your head even more forward and down. Drop your chin down toward your sternum (the center point just above your chest), doing so will stretch the muscles in your neck. Hold for five seconds, and do this for 10 reps a day.
As you can see, there can be many causes for bad posture besides not keeping your back straight. Unfortunately, this means that cases of back and spinal pain have become more common as our daily lives have become more sedentary. If you are in New Jersey and are experiencing cases of chronic pain, or are trying to determine why your pain is happening, contact us at Garden State Pain Control.