All posts tagged posture

Better posture for better health

Good posture is the proper alignment of your body especially when we are standing or sitting. We must train our body to position itself correctly against gravity. The proper alignment of our spine with good posture has many benefits such as: 

•    Reduction in neck and back pain
•    Improved digestion and mood
•    Improved lung capacity
•    Burns more calories and builds a stronger core
•    Optimal muscle and joint function 
•    Improved spinal health

Here is an example of bad posture in standing and sitting. This person has weak back muscles (Posterior chain) and tight chest muscles (Anterior chain).

Here are some easy home exercises you can do which will strengthen a weak posterior chain and stretch out a tight anterior chain. These exercises should be performed hourly with numbers of 3 sets of 15 reps for each part of the spine.

Back extensions for your lower lumbar spine.
Bent arm rows for your mid thoracic spine
Chin tucks or retractions for your upper cervical spine

With time the result will be a good standing and sitting posture.

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Core stability and back pain

What is Core Stability?

This is a term which describes the firmness and stability of your trunk muscles.  These are the muscles which wrap around your trunk like a cylinder or brace.  They lie between your ribs and your hip bones just like the corsets worn in Victorian times.

The core or trunk muscles are the foundations of the body.  The back, arms and the legs work much better if the trunk muscles are stable.  When the trunk muscles are working together they support your body when walking, bending, lifting and even sitting upright and give you more energy.

Once working correctly they will also help protect the back from injury.

Why is Core Stability useful in the treatment of back pain?

Pain has been shown to turn muscles off.  Pain encourages sufferers to adopt pain relieving positions but ultimately they add to the problem.  Improving core stability will help stop this pain or reduce it a lot and encourage better posture which will prevent further pain.  Improving posture may reduce pain immediately.  Improving core stability will reduce pain over time.

How can we help you?

We need to teach your muscles how to work again.  This training is done one on one with your physiotherapist.  Once the muscles are working correctly we can then give you a programme of exercises to improve your strength even further.  These need to be monitored and are progressed as the muscles slowly strengthen and work together correctly.

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