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Improve Your Posture With This Daily Habit

If I could recommend one daily habit to improve posture it would be THIS!

LOOK UP!

Look up? You say… Yes, look up! Read on to find out more.

As a Chiropractor one of the most common questions I get asked is “how can I improve my posture?”. The truth is our posture is quite multifactorial.  Our genetics, our daily habits, our jobs and our strength and flexibility all contribute to our posture.

One of the most prevalent poor postural habits I see as a Chiropractor is forward head carriage.  Basically, this means that our head is positioned too far forward.  This can cause stress on the neck, the upper back, it can change the appearance of your neck, back and shoulders and it can cause your muscles and joints to get very sore and require Chiropractic treatment.

Forward head carriage is caused by looking down too much; such as – looking at a phone, using a computer, studying at a desk, nursing a baby and many many more activities.  Much of our life in this modern world is spent looking down and that means we are likely overusing and shortening certain muscles at the front of our body and in turn neglecting and over lengthening muscles at the back of our body.  When this happens posture is affected, we get weak and we get sore.

So… how do you fix it?

You have to balance out the system.  Essentially, you have to look forwards and up.  We need both the muscles at the front and the back to be in balance. This can help to improve posture and decrease stress on muscles and decrease pain.

Here are 3 ways you can stimulate the posterior muscles of the neck to improve posture:

1. Practice Neutral Spine

During this exercise you want to find the neutral posture for your neck.

Stand up tall, relax your shoulders and focus your gaze straight ahead.  Next, flex your head down towards the floor as far as comfortable (also moving your gaze down).  Then extend your head backwards as far as comfortable (moving your gaze up towards the ceiling).  Then slowly move your head and gaze so that you are looking straight ahead and your chin is level with the ground.

Repeat 3 times

2. Chin Tucks

Sitting down in a chair find your neutral neck posture (as described above).  Place one fingertip on your chin. Then by using your neck muscles try to move your chin backwards slightly away from your fingertip without moving your finger.  It may only be a mm or so.  Make sure you are not looking down and that your chin is level with the floor.

Repeat 10 times

3. Cobra

Lay face down on the floor with your elbows bent to 90 degrees and hands in line with your shoulders. Gently push into your hands and raise your head off the floor. Then gently lie back down.

Repeat 10 times.

The big takeaway here is to try and limit how much you look down during the day. It’s one habit of our modern world that is wreaking havoc with our posture and also a major cause of neck pain.

So, after you read this take a deep breath and look up.

Thanks for reading.

P.S If you have been worried about your neck posture or have been feeling sore and would like some help click here to get in touch. I would love to hear from you.