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Improving Posture, Enhancing Health: Chiropractic Solutions in Vancouver
Dr. Jarrod Johnson speaks on Improving Posture, Enhancing Health: Chiropractic Solutions in Vancouver. Posture is a very hot topic lately , and comes up often (almost on a daily basis) in my practice. A major reason why this is a thing is because we have been sitting more than ever before. Most jobs (especially downtown) have an average of 40 hours of sitting per week. When we think about it, this is only when we are working so 40 hours is normally the minimum. Normally these totals are much more by the end of the week with all our increased time driving, reading a book or watching tv. Suffice to say the vast majority of most peoples weeks have a massive amount of sitting.
Good Posture is Important!
This is why having good posture is so important to avoid extra strain on your neck and your back with all these long hours of sitting! If we think about it, having bad posture for a day or two is not such a terrible thing. But because most people will have to sit for most of their career, the bad posture day after day compiles and is where you can come into problems. Many common issues can come from bad posture including neck and back pain, headaches, rounded shoulders/chest pain and tension, TMJ issues as well as long term issues like joint degeneration.
Improve your posture today
My favorite recommendation for better posture is the rule of 90’s as a good cue for where you want your ankles and hips and arms to be. What this means is you want your elbow, your hips and your knees all to be properly aligned and at 90 degree angles to help your body be in the best position possible. If you are using a keyboard , and it’s possible it’s a good idea to use a keyboard tray to help achieve the rule of 90’s at your elbow. Another thing to think about even if you’re able to keep everything mentioned above at 90 degrees is avoiding something called “anterior head carriage”. This is what happens when your head and neck start leaning forward away from your chair and we end up putting a lot of unnecessary strain on the neck and upper back. It’s important to keep your back against the chair, and if you have a head and neck rest use this as a cue to make sure you’re not going forward into anterior head carriage. So remember to bring your neck back inline with your spine, and try to not let your shoulders roll forward by bringing your shoulder blades back and more squeezed together.
Where poor posture can lead you
One of the most severe problems that can arise from poor posture for long amounts of time is something called a Dowager’s hump. At the base of the neck, when someone has been continuously going into anterior head carriage for long amounts of time will start developing a bit of a prominence or “hump”. The more forward your neck sits while you are sitting at your desk or driving the more strain and stress placed at the base of your neck. With prolonged bad posture the body starts laying down extra connective tissue and fat around the joint leading to the hump. As this progresses the joints nearby start to degenerate and get very stiff and start losing mobility. When this goes unchecked, the hump is formed and if not taken care of can be a permanent issue. If caught early , the hump can be reversed but it will take you being very conscious of good posture and working on some exercises to help to reverse this.
Motion is lotion
Even perfect posture with 40 hours of sitting a week still takes a toll on the body. As I always say, motion is lotion so don’t forget to get up and move around and try to take breaks every hour from sitting. It’s never a bad idea to invest in a standing desk, to be able to break up the monotony of sitting and change positions more frequently. Postural exercises are also a good way to build up endurance in your neck and back that can help prevent some of the extra strain from sitting. It is important to keep your pectoralis muscles loose with stretching and to increase the strength of common postural muscles like your deep neck flexors, your upper, mid and lower fiber traps, as well as your rhomboids and levator scapula.
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By: Jarrod Johnson
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