Posture is the position in which you keep your body while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie, placing minimal strain on muscles and ligaments while moving or performing weight-bearing activities.
Proper posture plays a crucial role in the health of the spine. People who maintain correct posture do not usually experience pain in the back and neck. Good posture improves the flow of blood, energizes the nerves, and fortifies the muscles.
These are the five different types of postures:
Maintains the three natural curves of the spine (viz) the neck, mid-back, and lower back.
You gain a healthy posture when you stand straight with your shoulders back, your feet a little apart aligning with the width of your shoulders, abdomen in-drawn, hands hanging naturally, and balancing the weight of your body on the ball of your feet.
Regular exercise and physical activity help develop a healthy posture.
Also called the hunchback, kyphosis is the front-to-back curvature of the spine, generally noticed in older people.
Slouching and carrying heavy school bags are some of the chief causes of kyphosis. It causes back pain, stiffness, and tenderness of the spine.
Kyphosis at an early age is prevented by sitting and standing erect, being active, and carrying a school bag with contents relevant for the day. Treatment of kyphosis includes wearing a back brace, physiotherapy, and in advanced cases, surgery.
Flat Back Posture
This posture happens when the spine loses its natural curve by a flattening out of the lower back, causing the pelvis to tip backward and downward.
The causes of this posture range from muscle tightness in the lower back, fusing of the lumbar-spinal region, ankylosing spondylitis, degenerative disc disease, vertebral compression fractures and surgical complications.
Excruciating pain in the lower back, extreme tiredness, and a sensation of falling backward are the symptoms of flat back posture.
If caught in time, it can be set right with physiotherapy and exercises that stretch and strengthen the back muscles. Surgery is resorted to for cases that have no respite from the pain.
Sway Back Posture
In this posture, the person appears to be standing with his abdomen pushed forward and shoulders leaning back.
Sway back posture is caused by sitting for long durations. It causes muscles of the spine and pelvis to tighten, weaken, and get misaligned.
This posture pressurizes the internal organs causing lower back pain, digestive problems, and incontinence.
Sway back posture is treated with painkillers, physiotherapy, posture exercises, massage, and weight-control measures.
Forward Head Posture
The head protrudes out away from its natural position making the person look like a nosy parker.
Extensive hours in front of the computer or sewing machine, regular long-distance drives, use of more than one pillow to sleep, reading while lying down, and arthritis are known causes of this posture.
As anyone can guess, neck pain, headache, shoulder pain, and joint disorders are the common symptoms.
Chin tucks and chest exercises, done regularly, consistently, and in the comfort of the home, hold promise. At the office, place the monitor a tad bit higher, and take frequent breaks from the desk.
Other treatments include electrical stimulation, physiotherapy, light therapy, hydrotherapy, and heat-and-cold therapy.
The daily activities of life are what keep us strong and healthy. How we carry out these activities makes all the difference. Simple stretches during work hours, proper posture while at work or watching TV, walking erect, and avoiding wearing high-heel shoes can bring a holistic change in overall posture.