Three quick and easy moves from our Physical Therapist that improve your posture and reduce your pain.
In addition to good ergonomics, practicing good posture promotes good spine and joint alignment and decreases compensatory injuries. Some key components of good posture include:
- Neutral spine
- Avoid forward head
- Avoid slouched shoulders/upper back
- Engage abdominal and glute muscles
- Shoulder depression and scapular retraction= “shoulders down and back”
Here are a few simple exercises to improve posture and postural awareness.
- Reverse shoulder circles: Do every 30-60 minutes to check posture/shoulder positioning. Remember, desired position is with shoulders down and back.
- “Chin tucks” or cervical retraction: With head and neck in neutral position, gently draw chin/jaw backwards as if trying to make a double chin. Hold for 2-3 seconds, relax and repeat. Be GENTLE. (Do not flex chin down towards chest.)
- Scapular retraction: squeeze shoulder blades together (without shrugging shoulders upward)
Frequent change in position is also very beneficial. Set a timer to go off every 30 minutes. When the timer goes off, stand up, stretch, or walk a lap around your house. IF you have a stand up desk, spend the next 30 minutes standing while working, then switch. Prolonged positioning creates muscles guarding and potentially shortening/tightening. Remember, we were made to move so don’t be static for too long!