Bad posture is something that becomes habit, and when it is a habit it, we can suffer for it. Unfortunately, the result of bad posture is moderate to severe pain in your back, shoulders or neck. Bad posture can occur when you’re sitting in your car, sitting at your desk, watching television or even when you’re standing and walking around. If you often notice you slumping to one side or to the front/back, if you typically suffer from head and neck pain, or have lower back and hip pain, you may have bad posture-created problems that can easily be helped by chiropractic care.
How to Determine Your Posture
If you have been experiencing neck, shoulder or back pain, it is very likely from your bad posture. But before seeking proper treatment, you should find out whether or not you have poor posture. There are two main types of posture: sitting and standing. The best way to determine your sitting posture is to stop right where you are. Don’t think or move a muscle, just freeze. Now look and feel how you’re sitting. If you’re slumped over, your head is leaning forward, or your shoulders are rounded forward, you don’t have good posture. If your legs are crossed, it is also a sign of bad posture. If you’re leaning to one side or the other, it also means you have bad posture.
Now to figure out your standing posture. Stand in front of a full-length mirror and turn to the side so you can see your profile. This helps you see if you have bad posture or not. Look at your head, shoulders, neck and back in comparison to your legs. The following signs mean you have bad posture:
- Your shoulders are rounded forward
- Your chin is tilted up or down
- Your head is leaning forward with your chin out
- You are carrying more weight in the abdominal region
- Your knees are bent backward or forward
- Your back isn’t naturally curving inward
Bad Posture and Neck Pain
One of the first things you will notice after having bad posture for a certain period of time, is neck pain. This can be on one or both sides of your neck, as well as the back-middle portion of your neck. Neck pain is typically the result of leaning your head too much to one side or the other, poor shoulder posture or by leaning your head forward too much. If you are leaning your head too far forward, your putting too much stress on your lower neck vertebrae which causes neck pain and degenerative problems.
Bad Posture and Back Pain
Aside from neck pain, back and shoulder pain is also very common. Your back is constantly being used, even while sleeping. If you have bad posture while sitting or standing, you are making everything worse on your back and causing undue stress. It is negatively affecting your body’s mechanics and putting too much stress on the disks of your spine. The discs and ligaments are being pulled in unnatural directions, and over time, this causes severe back pain. Both back and neck pain is caused by a number of muscles being pulled, including the levator scapulae, subscapularis, pectoralis, suboccipital and scalene muscles.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
If you are already experiencing pain from bad posture, taking pain medications and starting to improve your posture won’t help alleviate the pain. It takes time and you need to realign your spine and vertebrae first. The best way to do this is see a chiropractor. They can help identify the problems in your posture and help analyze your alignment, movements and possible curvatures of the spine. Some of the things your chiropractor will look for are leveling of your hips, height differences between your shoulders, if you have a change in your stance, if you’re tilting your neck and head, tilting your pelvis forward or if you have an increase in spinal curvatures.
Aside from getting proper treatments from your chiropractor, you should also follow their lifestyle advice. This means making sure you are always keeping proper posture and visiting them often to check your alignment, getting regular exercise, stretching often and listening to your body. If you keep feeling pain, it might be time for another chiropractor visit.