We all live in a society where a huge emphasis is on looks. But one of the keys ways to maintain your looks that we often never think about is good posture. Remember, when your grandmother told you to stand correct. You might not have realized it then, but she was right. Let's face it, most people don't stand or sit up straight.
I can recall one day while having lunch with a colleague that every time he would eat, he hunched over. I asked him why he leans towards his food when eating and he replied, "out of habit." I thought to myself poor posture can lead to other serious problems. In fact, just because you think you sit or stand straight doesn't necessarily mean you have good posture.
Along with many others, I strongly believe that prevention and awareness is the best care for health-related problems. One of the easiest and most logical ways to prevent bad posture habits is to think about the consequences.
1. Tension Headaches--Sitting hunched over at your job, most commonly caused by your hands reaching for the keyboard when typing on your computer leads to your shoulders and head slumping forward. This posture tightens the muscles in your neck, upper back and shoulders. After awhile, the tightness causes nerve irritations and muscle spasms which restrict proper flow of blood to the back of your head. This leads to tension headaches.
2. Diminished Breathing--Poor posture can lead to severe kyphosis (hunched back) causing the torso collapse leading to breathing difficulties. Rounded shoulders and overly bent or imbalanced spine restrict the expansion of the rib cage, which restricts the rise and fall of the breathing diaphragm. Reduced rib and spinal mobility will affect the normal breathing movement. If the diaphragm can't rise, it won't be able to draw in as much oxygen during inhalation.
3. Fatigue--Fatigue is one of the most common causes of bad posture. Tired and tight muscles cannot support the skeleton as they are designed to do. Your muscles have to work extra hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture, leaving you without energy. Lack of adequate muscle flexibility and strength, abnormal joint motion in the spine and other body regions will lead to overall muscle fatigue.
4. Make you look older--Never underestimate the beauty and health benefits, of good posture. Often poor posture is just a bad habit that is easily corrected. Poor posture not only makes you look older, but could be the first step toward dowager's hump, double chin, potbelly, and swayback as well as some internal problems too. When a person is hunched over or not standing straight that person may be perceived as older than they actually are. Good posture is not only beneficial to your body; it also makes you look taller and slimmer. What's more, good posture can convey self-confidence, which may just be the best accessory you can have.
5. Back pain-- Most common consequence of poor posture, due to muscle strain, especially lower back pain. The back muscles, ligaments & discs are under extra stress when the spine is not in proper alignment. Strong muscles help keep the spine in proper alignment and prevent back pain. Strong muscles also prevent the spine from extending beyond its normal range of motion, which is essential to protecting the ligaments and disks from injury. Visit www.DamonSoraya.com for exercises that strengthen and stretch the muscles that support the spine and help maintain proper posture.
Dr. Soraya uses a "whole person approach." This approach to wellness means looking for the underlying causes of any disturbance or disruption (which may or may not be causing symptoms at the time) and make whatever interventions and lifestyle adjustments that would optimize the conditions for normal function.
NOTE* Dr. Damon Soraya is a board certified Chiropractor serving the Beverly Hills community. Dr. Soraya has toured the country promoting the health and well being by freeing people from pain. He is a licensed Doctor of Chiropractor, and a Member of the American Chiropractor Association. In addition, he is a volunteer for UNICEF, American Cancer Society, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, and the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. For more info call 877.812.0328, or visit www.DamonSoraya.com