5 ways to Improve your Posture
Updated: Nov 11, 2019
Our top 5 tips to help you improve your posture and get rid of those daily aches & pains.
The importance of Improving Your Posture
Struggling with lower back pain? Consistent neck pain, sometimes followed with dull aches in your upper body? Perhaps, you have an occasional headache when your shoulder, neck or lower back pain is at its worse. If you are suffering from any or all of these uncomfortable, and well, inconvenient pains, don’t worry you’re not alone. As you may have guessed, many of our clients who visit our facility Circle 8 massage Leeds, seek our help to alleviate their discomfort through a massage.
What you may not know is that the most common source of back, shoulder and neck pain is usually due to bad posture. However, the vast majority of people believe that the source of their discomfort is because of sitting at a desk for prolonged periods, or bad sleeping habits. Although these two reasons are not the root cause, they are definitely contributing factors that have the potential to become worse in the long run. So, let’s take a look at the five ways you can improve your posture.
5 Ways to Improve Your Posture
First, we need to explain why posture is a significant cause of back, neck, shoulder and at times arm pain. Life is stressful, and our body will naturally build tension. Unfortunately, the built-up tension will begin to take hold, and our bodies begin to experience genuine pain. The anecdote, “carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders” springs to mind, and that precisely what we want to alleviate. We hope that by trying one or two of our tips, you can begin to reduce the detrimental tension that you are carrying.
1. Look in the mirror
The first step is possibly the most crucial, as you need to assess your own posture. For instance, do you slouch, tilt your head? These, are just a few causes of bad postures. However, the best and efficient way to correct your postures issues is to really look at your posture. Accepting that your pain and discomfort is subconsciously self-inflicted can be challenging, but learning how you stand, move, and carry yourself is what will fix the majority of your pain issues.
2. Slightly lean back when you’re sat down
We all eventually spend time sitting down, it’s unavoidable, which is why we need to ensure that we sit in the best position possible. In a study conducted by the Department of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging at Alberta University, they discovered the ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ way to site. The MRI scan showed that leaning back slightly is much better for your back and spine. So, when it’s possible to try to make space between your desk for example, and the upper body.
3. Don’t walk with your shoulders
If you realise that you lead your movements, shift your focus to your chest instead. Your body will function and look better in the long run if you keep your chest up and open.
4. Use your arms
Really, this tip depends on the width of the movement that is most comfortable for you. Linking back to number 3, use your arms when walking and don’t let your shoulders take control, as this is the cause of most neck and upper back pain.
5. Sleep Position
Ultimately no one stays in the same position all night, but there is definitely a "best" way to sleep.
On your back - This by far the best position even if only 8% of the population sleep this way. Sleeping on your back allows your head, neck & spine to rest in a neutral position.
On your side - This is the 2nd best sleep position and around 15% of the population sleep this way. This position (where your torso and legs are relatively straight) also leads to an elongated spine which helps stop back and neck pain. You're also less likely to snore in this position as it keeps the airwaves open!
In the fetal position - 41% of adults choose this option making it a very popular option. This position is great if you are pregnant as it can improve circulation to your body and fetus. Ideally we want to stay in quite a loose fetal position, if we curl up to tightly it can restrict breathing and you may wake up with fairly sore joints the next day especially if you have pre-existing joint issues. A great way to improve this sleep position is to try straighten out your body rather than curling yourself up to tightly.
On your stomach - We have saved the worst for last! Only 7% of the population choose this position which is lucky as it's very difficult to keep your spine in a neutral position, which can lead to neck and back pain as well as excess pressure on muscle and joints. We recommend anyone sleeping in this position to try another one!
In addition to sleep position, we recommend only sleeping on 1 pillow as the whole purpose of a pillow is to keep your neck aligned with your spine. Sleeping on more than one pillow could actually put strain your neck.
The Final Way - Sports Massage Leeds
Here at Circle 8 Massage Leeds city centre, we want to continually assist our customers to improve their overall wellbeing which is why we thought it’d be useful if we gave you five ways that you can improve your posture. So, we had to include one of the best ways to help with your posture and pain relief. Although we may be biased, a sports massage or deep tissue massage is an excellent way to reduce your frequent pain, but as you can see, it isn’t the only solution! However, if you would like to learn more about the benefits of booking a Circle 8 sports massage in Leeds, we’d be happy to help.