Sound familiar? We have all probably heard this a time-or-two in our lives. Really, your mother (or your Physical Therapist coworkers!) had your best interest in mind. So why is posture is so important? Proper posture keeps bones and joints in correct alignment, helps decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces (to prevent arthritis), prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal positions, prevents strain or overuse problems, and contributes to good appearance.
Spine Control is the concept of maintaining "Neutral Spine Posture" throughout all activities of daily living. In other words, posture is the position in which you hold your body upright against gravity while sitting, standing or laying down.
Tips for Maintaining a Neutral Spine
- Keep your back straight, and shoulders back. A lumbar roll behind the small of your back may help to maintain this posture. Don't have a lumbar roll? Contact one of our offices to purchase one, or try rolling up a small towel from home.
- Avoid crossing your legs or sitting with one leg underneath you. This helps to distribute your body weight evenly over both of your hips.
- Change positions. Avoiding sitting in one position longer than 30 minutes.
- Align your ears over your shoulders. Tuck your chin and keep eyes forward.
- Lift your chest bone and pull your shoulders back.
- Maintain the natural curve of your low back. Tighten those abs to do so.
- Keep your knees soft and distribute your body weight over the center of each foot.
- Standing for long periods of time? Try shifting your weight from side-to-side. Putting one foot up on a stool, leaning onto a counter top or wall and squatting or sitting down for a few minutes can help to decrease strain.
A Physical Therapist will identify any posture problems you may have and address them through stretching, strengthening and various manual techniques. They will train you in those techniques and be sure they are practical for you, your job and daily activities.
Did you know that our new location is now OPEN inside of the Pacific Health Club in Liverpool, NY? Our Liverpool location (on Old Liverpool Road - accessible from Route 57, I-690, 481 and 81)) offers both physical and aquatic therapy services.