Biohacking your posture to look better and feel better!

 

 

Biohacking your posture for a better appearance  and health!

 

We all recognize the un-esthetic aspect of bad posture. Occasionally catching your self in the mirror after a long day and seeing that forward head and slumped shoulders is often enough to remind us to stand up straight get our shoulders back and our heads up…….. at least for a moment! But the poor esthetics of bad posture is not all there is to worry about. Over time poor posture takes a serious toll on your spine, shoulders, hips and knees. This series of structural flaws can lead to back pain and joint pain, which of course is one of our main concerns at Desert Valley Chiropractic. It can also lead to reduced flexibility and poorly working muscles which can limit your ability to build muscle and burn fat. Worst of all bad posture can lead to nerve constriction as the spine begins to change shape and loose its natural and beneficial curves in place of ones that are too rounded or too flat as a response to the muscle patterns of bad posture.  As Dr. Katherine discussed in our chiropractic biohack The Life Changing Magic Of Chiropractic Care!  These nerve impingements and the surrounding inflammation can lead to poor function through out the body including our organs and glands as well as muscles. Therefore by taking some simple steps to improve your posture you can also improve your health and that is why posture exercises are this months biohack!

We are sitting and looking at down more than EVER these days and it is taking a real toll on our posture. We have many people come to Desert Valley Chiropractic and mention they are concerned about their posture. We have many more come in complaining of the symptoms of bad posture, such as knots in the neck and shoulders, headaches, feeling like their head is heavy, without realizing bad posture is one of the roots of their symptoms.

Poor posture is most easily recognized by a forward head posture and rounded shoulders. This is becoming an increasing issue especially in young people who are developing their spines and muscles while looking down at screens and devises for hours on end! Forward head refers to the position of your head relative to your shoulders. It means if we look at you from the side your ear would be in front of the tip of your shoulder. This leads to rounding of your shoulders and an increased hump in the upper back. Pro longed time in this posture leads to a shortening of the muscles in the front of your chest and shoulders. In this position you must increase the muscle activity in your neck and upper shoulders

 

When you stand up straight you want your profile or sideview to look tall and straight.

  • Your ear should be over your shoulder
  • Your chest and sternum should be pointed up
  • Your shoulder blades should be back and down from your ears

 

This position balances the weight of your head on your neck and minimizes the amount your muscles have to work to hold your head up.

Ok so bad posture does not look nice but how does bad posture affect your health and wellness?

Good posture reduces the amount of spasm irritation and inflammation we see in the neck and back muscles, and that reduces the amount of joint misalignment we see in your spine leading to pain, pinched nerves headaches and knots. Bad posture reduces the natural curves in your spine this reduces your body’s ability to function optimally effecting muscle function and other joints in the body as well. Severe curving of the spine and its effects on the nerves can begin to effect organ function and overall health.

What are some ways to fix it?

Poor posture is the result of muscles that have adapted in a not great way to stresses and positions they have been put into. Forward head posture often comes from the muscles in the front of your chest and the front of your neck are too tight, meanwhile the muscles in the back of your neck and upper back are stretched out, weak and not firing the way they should be. So we want to reverse this by:

Getting adjusted to take down the pain and inflammation in those muscles and around the nerve roots

Stretching the muscles in the front of the chest and neck

Strengthening and stabilizing the muscles in the upper back and back of the neck

 

Here are some of our favorite simple posture exercises

 

Door way stretches

Place your hands high on either side of a door frame

Put one foot into the doorway

While maintaining good posture put your weight onto the foot in front until a stretch is felt across your chest and shoulders

Hold for 15 seconds

The use your hands and apply light pressure to the door frame for about 5 seconds

Now relax the pressure you had on the door frame and drop a bit further into the chest stretch

Hold there for 15 seconds

The use your hands and apply light pressure to the door frame for about 5 seconds

You should be able to drop a little further into the stretch again

Repeat this 3-5 x

 

Ball sit

Sit on a fit ball making sure your feet are not up against the ball

Turn your hands so your palms face up

Squeeze your shoulder blades down and back

Draw your head and neck back so your ear lobe is over your shoulder

Now hold this position for 3-5 minutes

Tip for buying a fit ball:

 

 

Towel Roll

Take a hand towel and roll it up

Lay down and place the rolled towel behind your neck

Hold this position for 3-10 minutes gradually working up in time ie 3 min , 5 min, 10 min

 

If the towel exercise helps you may benefit from a devise that we like called a posture pump which is available  on amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Posture-Pump%AE-1400-D-Dual-Hydrator%AE/dp/B00SA5IPK4/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=304WX7DMH9UOW&keywords=posture+pump&qid=1652982323&sprefix=posture+pump,aps,141&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

Dr. Katherine Iacuone practices chiropractic and co owns Desert Valley Chiropractic in the beautiful North Phoenix neighborhood of Moon Valley with her husband Dr. David Iacuone. Desert Valley is an award-winning practice with multiyear “Best of The Valley”  for best chiropractic clinic awards. Dr. Katherine Iacuone has won the “Three Best”  best chiropractor award multiple times and Dr. David Iacuone is listed as a Who’s Who “Top Doctor” of chiropractic. The practice is accepting new patients. To make an appointment call us at 602-439-1515 or reach out through the contact submission on our website at Desert Valley Chiropractic

 

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