Living with even mild pain in one of these areas can be a sure sign of bad posture. Pain is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong. Many may see surgery as a solution to correcting these problems, but surgery isn’t the best first solution when posture hasn’t been addressed, as the problems continue to perpetuate with the misalignment and muscular imbalances that caused the pain in the first place. Think about a young nimble body, who hasn’t had the years of postural distortions caused by long hours spent sitting, staring down at devices or just being generally inactive and/or overweight. Most young bodies have perfect posture both because their bones and bodies are still growing but also because their fascia, the connective tissue that surrounds and holds every organ, blood vessel, bone nerve fiber and muscle in place, is also still nimble and flexible, much like a fresh rubber band that’s super springy and bounces back as you pull on it in different directions. Many factors affect the flexibility of fascia which stiffens and becomes less flexible as we age, contributing to us holding our bodies in distorted patterns, causing pain.
How many hours per day you spend sitting and/or looking at your device, desk, paperwork, book, needle/stitch work, patients or whatever else that causes you to look down? Most of us spend way too much time doing sedentary-type activities, like looking down at our phones or sitting improperly at our desk or on our couch, causing muscles and fascia to get “stuck.” This ultimately affects the shape of the bones, much like braces work in the mouth pulling teeth together. I often joke with my clients that when your mother told you not to make that face because it will get stuck that way, that there is some truth to that but it’s more like “Don’t bend your head down over your phone that way because you willstart to grow like that.”
Cellphones, laptops, and all manner of devices that we look down at have accelerated this process, to the point where practitioners like me now see postural issues a lot sooner, especially in teens, resulting in neck, shoulder, back and even knee problems from spending too much time looking down at the phone or other devices.
Awareness is the #1 solution to this problem, particularly when taught young, as I’ve been instructing my daughter to do for as long as she can remember. Hold your phone up, look up at your phone, and/or figure away not to look down. Be aware of how much time you look down and spend some time stretching your neck by looking up and reaching your chin up to the ceiling (chin lifts). Perform chin-tucks, strengthening your neck muscles by pulling your chin in and slightly out, repeating 10X every day. Use a neck decompression device to stretch your neck out. Need help improving your posture? Visit us, your postural correction specialists.