In last week’s blog we talked about posture: what makes good posture, how it can be harmful to not be in proper alignment, steps to correct your posture, and how to incorporate some of the tips into your daily life.
This blog is a continuation of these tips.
So the first step in changing posture is becoming aware of it. Unfortunately, you may not be aware until you feel pain or achey or have a headache. But look at this as a good cue. Your body is telling you something is not right please listen to me and change it.
Once you are aware, change how you are sitting or standing and see if you can eliminate the discomfort. This will teach your body how to align itself so you are centered. If you are not sure how to align yourself, see what you can do to balance yourself.
If in standing, have equal weight on both feet and distributed evenly not only between both feet but also between both legs. If in sitting, have equal weight on both sit bones.
We discussed in the last blog your workstation and how to make it ergonomic. Let’s talk about sleeping positions.
No matter what position you sleep in, place a roll in your pillow to support the neck. The roll should be in the curve of your neck, so the head is still on the pillow. This gives the neck support and helps to take up the space between the ear and shoulder. You can just roll up a hand towel and tape it so it stays together then slip it inside the pillowcase.
We are looking for maintaining alignment to decrease the stress and strain on the body. If you are sleeping on your back, have pillows under your knees. This takes the strain out of the lower back.
If you are on your side, place a pillow thick enough between the knees so the knee and the hip of the top leg are on the same level. You can also use a body pillow to align both the leg and arm so the arm is at 90 degrees at the elbow and shoulder.
As most of the day is comprised of flexion, particularly if you have an office job, you want to add extension into it. Extension is standing vs. sitting which is flexion. If you have a foam roller, put it horizontally on the floor or chair, place your hands behind your head and arch over it. You can also do this on the back of a chair if it is the correct height for you.
If you have achiness/stiffness/spasm, lie on a tennis ball on the floor on the spot. Sitting won’t work as you are now using muscle to press against the ball to relieve muscle. Of course, I go back to breathing again to help relieve tension, but also breathe when using the balls.
In the end, posture just means you are in good alignment and where one area is not overworking and another underworking. When everything – muscles, joints, skeletal system – is where it should be, you actually feel nothing because it is all working together and sharing the load. This is the best way to avoid injury and strengthen all the appropriate muscles to support the spine/joints. It also allows for increased freedom of movement, which is easier and smoother.
And on that note, take the time to pay attention to what your body is saying and be kind to it by changing the position you put it into that made you aware of the discomfort. Remember the first step in change is being aware.
If you need expert specialist observational skills to assess what is going on that is creating your issues, contact us by clicking here to schedule a Free 20 minute Discovery call. It is very difficult to assess ourselves because we have been doing something for a very long time and the body has gotten used to it. That’s where we come in to assess the root cause and educate you on what to do to change the habit to bring balance back to the body and in turn prevent an injury or a recurring injury.
To Your Health,