We will all have been told at some point in our lives, “stand up straight” or “sit properly”. However this is easier said than done. Factors coming up against us include: long hours in restricted positions, ergonomics of work stations, repeated stresses, tight or weak muscles, forgetfulness, comfort and laziness in stretching or moving.
More often than not, aches and pains from a sustained or repeated posture, whether good or bad, has a mechanical component. Initially, the consequences of poor posture are reversible and consist of a tightness in particular muscles or joints. You may find that at the end of the day you have a slight ache somewhere but at this stage, changing position removes the strain, the discomfort disappears and you forget that it existed. Multiply the infrequent aches from one day by your standard week, month and year. A repeated movement becomes a habit as a result of muscle memory. As your body adapts to the positions you regularly put it into, structures become more consistently tight and the ability to correct your posture starts to become affected. Muscles become shorter and less responsive to a change in position and joints may have lost their full range of motion. Instead of complaining every now and then, you may be feeling uncomfortable after minutes or hours rather than days when in a particular position. Issues may become more widespread as surrounding structures compensate for loss of function and mobility.
We notice common patterns of biomechanical alterations and symptoms within certain populations, for example desk workers or physical labourers. Individuals may complain that they feel tight in particular areas; the shoulders, neck, hips or low back. If you are aware of any of these positions being present in your life, give us a call and discuss them with us to find out what we could recommend for you.
Simple postural changes to recognise include:
- Chin poking forward due to a combination of tight and weak muscles surrounding the neck.
- Forward head posture – often from looking down at a phone, book or screen.
- Hunched shoulders from stress or a poor working station set up.
- Slumping through the upper spine – poor sitting position and core strength often leads to you slouching
- Excessive curving through the lower spine – tight anterior muscles and weak posterior chain muscles cause you to lose the natural curve of your lower back.
With the whole body being considered, Chiropractic treatment with massage, adjustments and gentle stretches aims to restore mobility to tight areas and to encourage the correct muscles to become activated. It is not simply a case of treating the ache in one particular area, but to return the entire complex to a better movement pattern. In addition we will discuss with you the possible underlying causes for this and improve your knowledge on how you can alter aspects of your daily life to minimise the chance of reoccurrence.