13 Jan How to Fix Bad Posture Permanently
When you have body pain, it’s natural to want instant pain relief. The problem is, lots of times, instant relief doesn’t fix the root of the problem… so it keeps coming back to haunt you.
To bring people lasting relief from body pain, we do a postural restoration therapy called Reposturing.
Every year, posture specialists in the San Francisco Bay Area help hundreds of people fix their posture in order to heal pain and boost vitality.
What’s postural restoration?
Postural restoration and postural restoration therapy are fancy medical terms for the practice of restoring your body’s natural, balanced posture.
It’s a comprehensive approach to restoring flexibility and strength to the body so that you can free yourself from body pain—for good.
The ultimate goal: to boost vitality.
When we feel good, we have more energy, we’re able to do all of the things we want to do.
How it works:
The Reposturing brand of Postural Restoration is done with a unique set of stretches and exercises, designed by a posture specialist, that realign the bones in order to fix bad posture permanently.
The idea is to get your body back to a state of natural alignment. Why? Because our bodies were designed to move without pain.
When our bones are stacked properly (in other words, when we have proper posture) they do the work of weight bearing. Bones were built to do the heavy lifting in carrying body weight, but when our posture gets wonky, our muscles pick up the slack to keep us from falling over. After a while, that can create a chain reaction of tension and pain that pulls things further and further out of alignment. The result? More pain, less movement, and so on. And the cycle continues…
People think: I’m old and that’s why I’m in pain. But it’s not true.
There are lots of factors that cause bad posture. Some are less obvious than others.
We sit to eat, we sit to work, we sit to travel, and we sit to be entertained. We’re a sedentary bunch. When we do a lot of sitting we’re not stretching the muscles on the front side of our body. The shoulders tend to curl in, our neck pitches forward. All of this results in tension patterns in the neck and shoulders that can be excruciating.
Believe it or not, your workout could be damaging your posture. Most people don’t work with a trainer to balance out their exercise. And that can sometimes work against their healthy posture.
We do pushups, we do planks, we do crunches and sit-ups, but we don’t train the backside of our body to balance things out. The tendency is to over train the front of our bodies. But without training the back of our bodies, our workout can end up curling our bodies forward. And there goes our posture.
Your Social Upbringing
Ester Gokhale, author of 8 Essentials to a Pain-Free Back, makes the assertion that posture is a social construct. In our society, for example, a man puffing out his chest is sometimes criticized for trying to look “tough.” People tend to make inaccurate assumptions about a woman who lifts up her chests, too. In either case, we can attract unwanted and attention or aggression—simply by having good posture.
Fix your posture forever. Change your life for the better.
If you’re worried about the life-limiting pain, injuries, and muscle tension that come along with bad posture, get help from a posture specialist.
When your body’s in alignment, you just feel better. And being pain-free frees you up to live life to its fullest.
Step 2: Decompress your neck (Needs photo)
After you’ve opened your shoulders, you want to restore the height back to your neck.
We have a neck pull we do in Reposturing that pulls the neck vertically upright. We call it the Vertical Neck Traction.
The Vertical Neck Traction focuses on the musculature and connective tissue that goes over the neck and head. This helps restore the height to the neck after you’ve opened up your shoulders. Here’s how to do it:
Vertical Neck Traction (Needs photo)
Place the heels of your hands on your temples (above your ears) with your fingertips pointed upward and your thumbs pointed behind you. Press the heels of your hands inward and, maintaining pressure, gently lift your hands upward. Take three deep breaths and slowly release.
Switch your hands so that the heels of your palms are slightly behind your ears with your fingers pointed behind you and your thumbs pointed downward. Press the heels of your hands inward and, maintaining pressure, gently lift your hands upward. Take three deep breaths and slowly release.
Last, switch your hands to the base of the skull. Press and lift for three deep breaths. Slowly release.
What’s the point?
You should feel a stretch in all the muscles of the neck, including the back, sides, and front. This will free up your neck movement and restore height to your neck.
How’s my form?
Keep your shoulders and elbows as far back as possible and breathe into the stretch going a little deeper with each exhale.
Step 3: Restore the full range of motion
Once you’ve built a strong foundation and restored the height to your neck, you want to bring back your range of motion.
Neck exercises and stretches will help strengthen and release your neck so that you’re able to move easily without pain.
Side-Flex Neck Stretch (Needs photo)
Open your shoulders and lift your chest. From here, place the palms of your hands on the backside of the top of your legs.
Face straight forward and lean your ear toward your right shoulder as far as you can. Wherever your head stops, take a deep breath in through your nose. As you breathe out through your mouth, move your ear a tiny bit closer to your shoulder. Move more deeply into the stretch with each breath. After your fifth exhale, switch sides.
What’s the point?
You should feel a stretch in the side neck muscles. This movement improves the balance in the neck-to-shoulder muscles, releasing tension to the neck in a balanced way.
How’s my form?
Keep your shoulders back and breathe into the stretch going a little deeper with each exhale. Move slowly as you come out of this one.