Poor posture can affect how you look, but it can also contribute to back pain, neck pain, and other musculoskeletal discomfort. And if poor posture is left untreated, it can even increase your risk of herniated discs and misalignment in your entire body.
Unfortunately, many people with poor posture don’t even realize it. How they sit, stand, and walk feels normal to them.
Below, Dr. Dustin Hamoy, DPT, MTC, DNC, CKTP, CWCHP, and our team at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland, created this guide to help you spot the red flags of poor posture.
Posture is how you hold yourself, and good posture can help support your overall wellness and comfort. Before you can determine if you have poor posture, it’s important to understand what posture is and, specifically, what good posture looks like.
The two types of posture are dynamic and static. Dynamic posture refers to how you hold yourself while you move (e.g., walking, running, bending, etc.), and static posture refers to how you hold yourself when you aren’t moving (e.g., sleeping, sitting, standing, etc.)
When you stand, your ears should line up over your shoulder, and your head should be in a neutral position, not leaning too far forward. Additionally, good standing posture includes:
It’s hard to tell if you have good posture when you stand, so it might be helpful to enlist the help of a friend or use a mirror.
Just like when you stand, your ears should line up with your shoulder. Your shoulders should be pulled back, rather than rounded forward. Your feet should rest flat on the floor with your knees bent at 90-degree angles.
Your walking posture is similar to your form when you stand. Your chin should be parallel to the ground as you walk, and your eyes should look straight ahead, rather than down at the floor. eep your pelvis neutral, and keep your core tight.
Whether you’re walking or sitting, don’t look down at your phone. Craning your neck forward can throw your body out of alignment and contribute to poor posture and a painful condition known as tech neck.
Though you might not think much about it, your sleeping posture plays a big role in whether you wake up feeling refreshed or stiff and achy. Try to keep your hips, shoulders, and ears aligned when you sleep. Sleeping on your back is one of the best positions for promoting good posture because it promotes better spinal alignment. It also takes some of the pressure off your arms and legs. If you do sleep on your side or stomach, use pillows where necessary to help take pressure off your spine.
You might suspect you have poor posture if you study photographs of yourself, but visual images aren’t the only signs of poor posture. Poor posture can:
Of course, these symptoms can be related to other conditions too. For example, neck pain can be linked to an injury, such as whiplash, rather than poor posture.
Here at Precision Laser Joint and Spine Pain Center in Glen Burnie, Maryland, we can help with posture-related issues in a few ways. First, Dr. Hamoy is an expert when it comes to treating neck, shoulder, and back pain 一 all common symptoms of poor posture.
But we don’t want to treat the symptoms without addressing the underlying culprit: poor posture. That’s why we include posture exercises in our physical therapy program 一 to help you improve your posture and prevent future pain related to poor posture.
Not sure if poor posture is causing your musculoskeletal pain? Give us a call today to find out.
Use our booking tool, or give us a call at 410-324-2968.