What is poor posture?
Poor posture is when our spine is positioned in unnatural positions in which the spinal curves are emphasized resulting in increased stress on the joints, muscles, tendons and ligaments. This prolonged poor positioning results in a buildup of pressure in the surrounding soft tissue.
We spend accumulative years of our lives in a sitting position and slouched forward…studying, working, driving and sitting to eat…. this has a huge impact on our bodies creating various muscle imbalances.
When you hunch forward at a desk, your body isn’t correctly aligned forcing some muscles to work incredibly hard all day long whilst others get weaker. Sitting in the same position for a prolonged period trains our muscles to shorten, lengthen and even reshape. This then causes muscle imbalances allowing our body and muscles to be pulled into an incorrect posture.
What are contributing factors of poor posture?
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Years of sitting and studying/working slouched at a desk
- Poor ergonomic work area
- Occupational demands
- Decreased fitness
- Muscle weakness/muscle tightness
- Joint stiffness
- Poor core stability
- Lack of awareness/education of correct posture
Effects and symptoms of poor posture?
Low back pain is the most frequent complaint but research shows neck, shoulder and arm pain has become increasingly widespread as a result of postural dysfunction.
- Overactive and underactive muscles
- Joint compression
- Muscle fatigue
- Limited mobility
- Breathing limitations
(See the diagram below for examples)
1: POOR Posture: Slouching, rounded shoulders, hunchback (kyphosis), tilting head forward, bent knees
2: GOOD posture: Balanced upright posture, with a straight line from the ear to the shoulder to the hip
3: POOR Posture: Shoulder blades excessively back, arching of the low back (lordosis), locked knees, pot belly
What is deep tissue massage (sports massage) and what are the benefits?
Deep tissue massage is a form of soft tissue release consisting of a manual hands on approach to alleviate the stress and tension which builds up in the body’s soft tissues after being put in a straining position. With a deep pressure reaching and stretching out the deep muscle fibres and producing increased blood circulation to the muscles, the overall aim of deep tissue massage is reduced pain and increased range of movement.
- Reduced muscle and joint pain
- Increased joint mobility
- Improved posture
- Corrected muscle imbalances (alongside strengthening exercises)
- Improved blood circulation
- Reduced stress
- Reduced headaches
- Improved lifestyle
- Less fatigue
- Improved breathing
Overall treatment should involve lengthening tight muscles and the working on strengthening the weak, lengthened muscles. With poor posture the pectorals, teres major, anterior deltoid, subscapularis, and latissimus dorsi are all also tight in this condition and should be treated. This is because when we sit with a kyphotic posture our scapulae protract, bringing the humerus into medial rotation. All of these muscles are medial rotators and if left untreated remain shortened and may contribute to pain, deep tissue will help with this problem!!
Once lengthened with deep tissue massage we can then begin strengthening the opposing muscles that have been stretched and weakened whilst holding this unnatural position. All of our sports therapists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and strength and conditioning coaches work together to provide your personal treatment!
Bad habits can be incredibly hard to break and often require a great deal of discipline. However, if bad posture is the habit you’re trying to break, your first step is to sit back and relax-literally! Deep tissue massage relaxes the overworked and sore muscles that resulted from bad posture and allow your body to relax into its natural alignment.
Allowing the body to reinforce healthy and natural movements can be one of the most beneficial aspects of massage therapy.
A great number of people suffer from the negative effects of bad posture and yet do not change the factors of their lives which cause them the problem.
Sports Therapy, Deep Tissue Massage, Physiotherapy, Chiropractors and Strength and Conditioning Coaches can all help you with your pain!!
Improving poor posture is a conscious effort along with soft tissue work, stretching and strengthening exercises to correct the muscle imbalances.
Together at DISC we will work with you to minimalize your pain and correct your posture!! Hope to see you soon!!