The reasons behind how we posture ourselves are numerous. Perhaps it is emotional. Think of how you posture yourself when you are proud, sad, insecure, or confident. Sometimes we are trying to hide features or parts of our bodies that we aren’t particularly fond of. Then, throw in different cultural and environmental factors. Our addiction to hand-held devices doesn’t help things. Regardless of the reasons, we often find ourselves in very flexed postures with our heads down and our shoulders rounded. When we live in flexed postures, we stick there, and posture can lead to pain. It can cause headaches, neck pain, low back pain, etc. Our postures also feed into the rest of our bodies, contributing to shoulder impingement, tight hamstrings, and inefficient breathing, among other things. Changing one’s posture involves a lot more than the old “stand up straight” that we heard from our parents. Why do you posture yourself the way you do? What environmental factors affect your posture that you can change? Do you believe you have the ability to change? Change is possible. Make changes to your world that get you more upright: raise your computer screen, think about sitting/standing with a neutral pelvis- not tilted to far forward or back; then, shoulders back and down, and head up. Live and move, thinking tall. Engagement in activities such as yoga or dance can help too. Make it a point to think about your posture, reduce pain and improve function and performance.
KayLynne Ezzell PT, MPT
Heights Physical Therapy LLC & Heights Performance LLC