Expert advice: Problems with bad posture

IN my previous life as an IT consultant, I spent way too much time behind a desk.

IN my previous life as an IT consultant, I spent way too much time behind a desk.

Although conscious that sitting around all day isn’t the best thing for you, what can you really do about it?

I am guessing a lot of people reading this are the same.

We sit down when we eat breakfast, we sit down when we travel to and from work, and once we get to work, we spend several hours sat down. When we return home we spend even more time sat down watching TV or eating dinner.

The same people will also complain of aches and pains or worse, but write it off as old age or just accept that it is the “way they are”.

People think that they just need to see the doctor for a bad back and get tablets for their problem, or they have been to a chiropractor who adjusted them, which felt great at the time but then went back to how it was.

The problem is that popping pills or chiropractic adjustments treat the symptoms and not the cause, so guess what. The problem comes back and persists.

But what if I were to tell you that poor posture can be corrected?

The problem with a poor posture is that your body will try to adapt to how you spend your day, so if that is sitting, then guess what? Your body becomes more efficient at sitting, which can lead to muscles being tight at the front of your pelvis (Hip Flexors) and weak at the back (your glutes or bum), your head can also go forward and you round your shoulders, hardly ideal.

Not only that, though, there are a lot of nerves that branch off from the spine, and if your muscles cannot hold your pelvis, for example, that can lead to nerve entrapment, which can cause pain in other areas too of the body.

Compression of joints in the spine causes compression of nerves to important areas of the body, which can lead to some serious health issues.

For example, nerves which supply our stomach originate from our mid-back, poor posture can cause joint compression and so compression of the nerves, making it harder to lose weight.

Here are some tips to help get back on track:

Spend 10 minutes every day rotating the joints in your body (neck, shoulders, wrists, elbows, spine, hips, knees and ankles), this is just as important if not more so than stretching. If your joints are locked up it will switch off muscles around it, making you weaker in that area.

Drink more water, joints need fluid to also them to move smoothly.

Remove trigger points by getting a massage, trigger points (knots) can cause irritation, pain and muscle weakness.

Stop wearing high-heeled shoes or chunky-heeled trainers.

This alters the balance of the body and throws your pelvis forwards and into bad posture, causing pain.

Dean Coulson is a health coach at www.assert-fitness.co.uk

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