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Tips to Maintain Good Posture

Crosby Chiropractic St. Peters

Tips to Maintain Good Posture

Good posture is essential for good health. We recognize poor posture when we see it
as it is obvious in many adults. Generally poor posture occurs as a result of bad habits,
lack of exercise or due to abnormal spinal curvatures, which over years result in loss of
good posture and which may result in pain. Few people have a real grasp of the
importance and necessity of good posture and of investing energy and effort into
obtaining and maintaining good posture.
Good posture assists us with functions such as standing, walking, sitting, and lying
down by enable us to have positions that place the least strain on the supporting
muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Good posture
also keeps bones well aligned ensuring optimal use of muscles and reducing the
abnormal wear and tear to joint surfaces that results in degenerative arthritis and joint
pain. While good posture may seem to make muscles work harder initially, over time,
good posture enables the muscles to be more efficient and use less energy actually
making it easier to prevent muscle fatigue, muscle strain, muscle pain and back pain.
There are many factors that can contribute to poor posture. These include obesity,
pregnancy, weak muscles associated with posture, muscular imbalance from one side
to another, abnormally tight muscles, repetitive tasks, stress, and high-heeled shoes or
shoes that are worn out. Loss of flexibility, a poor work environment in a job that
requires the holding of an abnormal posture for an extended period of time, unhealthy
sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor posture over time.
Sitting correctly requires keeping your feet on the floor or on a footrest. You should not
cross your legs, your ankles should be uncrossed also. Having a small gap between the
back of your knees and your seat is good. Your knees should be at or below the level of
your hips. The back of your chair should support your low back and mid back or you
should consider the use of a back support pillow. Your shoulders should be relaxed and
your forearms should rest parallel to the ground. No position should be kept (even this
one) for extended periods of time. You should get up and move around, stretch
periodically.
Standing correctly requires keeping your weight on the balls of your feet with your knees
slightly bent and not locked straight. Your feet should be shoulder width apart and you

should stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward and your stomach in,
letting your hands hang naturally, shoulders relaxed while pulled back. Your head
should be over your shoulders with your earlobes in line with your shoulders. If standing
for a long period of time shift your weight from the balls of your feet to your heels or
from one foot to the other as necessary while maintaining good spinal posture.
For lying down and having good posture you need to start with the right mattress. Most
people do best with a firm mattress but some people find that softer mattresses reduce
their back pain. Your comfort is important as being uncomfortable will send you looking
for postures that are not necessarily good ones. While sleeping, use a pillow. Cervical
pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping
position and your chiropractor can help establish if this would be beneficial. With
sleeping you should avoid sleeping on your stomach and should try to sleep on your
side or back. If you have low back pain, using a pillow between your knees if you are on
your side, or a pillow under your knees if you are on your back may make sleep more
comfortable but will help keep your posture well aligned.
Chiropractic can assist you with proper posture. Adjustments help with alignment,
enabling muscles to work more normally, minimizing the risk of muscle imbalance.
Doctors of chiropractic can also suggest exercises to strengthen your core postural
muscles and they can assist you with identifying improper postures you may have,
helping you focus on having better posture during your regular daily activities.

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