The importance of good posture

Postural dysfunction or "Poor" posture is defined as when our spine is positioned in unnatural positions, in which the curves are emphasised and this results in the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions. This prolonged poor positioning results in a build up of pressure on these tissues.

Painful conditions associated with poor posture are so common that most people have some firsthand knowledge of these problems. Low back pain is the most frequent complaint but research shows neck, shoulder and arm pain has become increasingly widespread as a result of postural dysfunction. Foot and knee problems are also becoming more common due to the emphasis on running and fitness.

A great number of people suffer from the negative effects of bad posture and yet do not change the factors of their lives which cause them the problem.

Many people have poor postural habits that have developed over a long period of time Due to these habits, joints gradually tighten up, restricting spinal movement and affecting posture. As a result, obtaining correct postural alignment often feels difficult and unnatural. This can be changed with practice.

The more time you spend maintaining correct posture, the easier it becomes. This occurs for two main reasons. Firstly, your joints and muscles loosen up with maintaining this optimal spinal position so that there is less resistance from your body. Secondly, your muscle 'memory' improves over time, so that with enough practice, maintaining this position occurs more naturally.

It is important to remember that your ability to maintain correct postural alignment won't develop over night. Every time you find yourself slouching, don't give up, just think of it as a time you can correct your position and do something productive, thereby gradually breaking bad habits.


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