Having good posture is all about making good habits – think of these as a self posture assessment. Good posture is not rigid and perfect at all times, but a good position consistently more than a bad position. Around the home or office, there are chairs and lumbar supports that can assist us with our posture. But achieving good posture also requires conscious effort and muscle activation.
Posture can be affected by a number of different factors including;
- Fitness level
- Muscle strength
- Being unwell or stressed
- Even being cold can sometimes affect our posture in a detrimental manner.
It is often good to have a photo taken from the side to see whether your posture is being affected. Around the neck area you might look for a Dowagers hump, which is often initially due to posture. Once the bad posture has been ingrained for a long period of time, this becomes more difficult to address. Likewise, posture around the pelvis, hip and low back, such as a sway back type posture, can often be from the way we hold our pelvis and stomach. Sometimes it’s handy to have a “posture nagger”- get a friend, relative or colleague to remind you to fix your habits!
How can your Physiotherapist help?
If we’ve been in a bad posture for a long period of time, we don’t actually realise we are in this posture, as it feels as though it’s normal. When we correct our posture to what is ideal, it will often feel unnatural. For this reason, it is useful to come to physio to learn what your ideal posture should be, and make goals for improving. Often you will need assistance from the physio to work on stiff joints, or weak muscles, which can sometimes be difficult to correct on your own.
If you think your posture is contributing to your pain, or you would like a posture assessment to correct it and improve your physical appearance and self-confidence, make a booking with one of our physios!