Please phone the number above during working hours to make an appointment. Our reception service will be happy to book your session.
10 min. walk from Boston Manor Tube Station.
15 min. walk from Northfields Tube Station.
E8, E3, E2, 207, 607, 83
As you slouch over your laptop keyboard or let your shoulders droop whilst you stand in the queue, you may not think there will be long-term consequences. And even if you do hear your mum's voice in your head urging you to 'stand up straight', you soon forget about good posture as you go about your day.
Why is changing your posture so difficult? Much of the challenge has to do with the complexities of posture. It's not just the position that you take, but an entire pattern of responses to the internal and external forces around you. That includes the effects of poor working conditions and non-ergonomic work areas; issues with your own anatomy and musculoskeletal system; injuries; and even gravity. There's even a psychological aspect to posture - for example, you may take a submissive posture with shoulders slumped and head down at a job you dislike.
But for improved health and increased confidence, you may want to pay increased attention to your posture. Slouching, hunching or rounding your shoulders or back can be habit-forming, and the impact that such incorrect form can have on your body goes beyond minor stiffness or sore muscles.
Multiple health issues can arise when you're not sitting or standing properly. The most common are neck and back pain, due to putting stress on the surrounding muscles from improper alignment. In fact, 2.5 million people in the UK suffer from back pain that impacts their ability to work and enjoy recreation and hobbies. Younger people are just as susceptible to this type of chronic pain as the elderly are, with 71 percent of those between ages 18 and 24 reporting pain at least once a month compared to 61 percent of those over 55. Many problems stem from sitting for hours in one position at a desk during the workday.
In addition to neck and back pain, which you might expect to result from poor posture, there are other, less obvious concerns that come from slumping or rounding your back and shoulders.
When you don't sit or stand in the ideal position, your body has to work twice as hard to keep you in place. That's because your nervous system, which helps keep you upright, works best when you're using the fewest muscles possible. The poor posture requires your body to activate more muscles in ways they aren't intended to when you're stationary and uses more energy.
The increased pain that comes from holding your back, neck and shoulders in the wrong positions also takes a toll on your energy levels. Dealing with pain also takes more of your focus and mental energy to cope.
You may have more fatigue, but getting a good night's sleep is harder than ever if you're not using your muscles correctly. You might think that laying flat in bed would help reduce the impact of sitting or standing wrong throughout the day, but in reality, your muscles can't properly relax after being cramped or strained. Without the right muscle alignment, you simply can't find the right sleeping position for quality rest.
As you sit hunched over, the resulting pressure can really cause issues with your digestive system, from your stomach through your intestinal tract. You may experience more heartburn as stomach acids are pushed up into your oesophagus. As well, you'll likely have a harder time digesting your food, which can lead to a lack of focus as well as physical discomfort.
You could also have constipation from reduced movement and position of your intestines, and from sitting incorrectly on the toilet. Poor posture makes using your abdominal muscles to evacuate waste more difficult and can cause straining and reduced bowel movements.
Working to improve your posture is worthwhile so you can overcome these and more negative effects of poor body position. A skilled physiotherapist can be invaluable in assessing and correcting bad posture and improving your overall health.
First, your physiotherapist will look at your entire body and alert you to problems with how you sit, stand and walk. Understanding the issues you have is an important first step to making long-term changes. You'll also learn about proper alignment and how to move with less stress on your muscles and joints. Physiotherapists used established medical science to treat problems with the neuromusculoskeletal system that can result from regular, daily slouching and slumping.
As part of this assessment, you'll identify tight muscles and joint problems that have been created through poor posture and need to be fixed to help you achieve your goals. Your physiotherapist will suggest a range of techniques to loosen spinal joints and improve the range of motion in your larger muscle groups. These could include massage and manual techniques, exercises you can do at home and help with setting up ergonomically correct work environments to minimize muscle strain. The treatments will help stimulate your body to heal the damage done through poor posture.
You did not create your posture problems overnight, and correcting them can take time and patience. It may be most helpful to create a customized program that can address your individual concerns and situation, using the expertise of an experienced physiotherapist. Remember that some changes will result in immediate improvements, but other work may take longer to pay off. Sticking to your physiotherapy treatment plan through the short term will help you stay healthy through the long term, including having less pain, better sleep, more self-confidence and better performance at work and in your personal life.
The first step to improving your health is to book an appointment with an expert physiotherapist. At CK Physiotherapy, all of our physiotherapists are members of the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, so you know we are knowledgeable professionals with the background to help solve your posture and health issues. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you look and feel better.