In order to correct bad posture, it is necessary to correctly position the head, strengthen the muscles of the back and abdominal region, because with weak abdominal muscles and spine erectors there is a greater tendency for the shoulders to lie down and facing forward, resulting in known hyperkyphosis. popularly as ‘hunchback’, which is one of the most common types of poor posture.
What can be done to correct this posture, with the shoulders slumped in front, includes:
- Exercise regularly to keep your muscles properly strong;
- Have body awareness and make small adjustments throughout the day;
- When sitting, ensure that you sit on the butt bone and keep your back against the chair and feet on the floor, without crossing your legs.
People who stay seated for more than 5 hours a day should pay special attention to how they sit on the chair or sofa, to avoid the formation of kyphosis, which is the ‘hump’ that is when the thoracic spine is most ’rounded’, when viewed from the side.
For this it is essential to have body awareness and keep the abdominal muscles contracted, making a small contraction, which consists of ‘shrinking the belly’, bringing the navel further into the abdomen. This small contraction activates the transverse abdominal and diaphragm muscles that also help maintain good posture throughout the day.
Do I need to wear a vest to correct posture?
It is not recommended to wear vests to correct posture, because they act in a way contrary to physical therapy and tend to aggravate the situation in the long run. This can happen because the vests force the shoulders back but do not strengthen the muscles properly, leaving them weaker than they should be. This imbalance in the muscular forces damages the spine, and in addition, one of the secrets to correct the posture of drooping shoulders is not to reach the shoulders back but to correct the position of the head, which is usually more anterior.
Exercises to correct shoulder posture
Exercising at the gym or practicing Pilates regularly also helps to maintain good posture because it strengthens the muscles contributing to the treatment to improve posture. In addition, it is recommended to stretch daily to increase the elasticity of the muscles, which is why Pilates exercises have an advantage because they require a good body stretching.
How to correct lumbar posture
The final part of the spine should always be in the neutral position, without the hip bone facing forward or backward, which can rectify the spine or make the butt more upturned, when viewed from the side. A good exercise to correct the lumbar posture is to find the neutral position of the hip and for that you must:
- Stand with your legs slightly apart, bend your knees slightly and slowly move your hips back and forth. It can be useful to do this test by looking at yourself in a full-length mirror, laterally and then checking for rectification or hyperlordosis. The challenge is to maintain the neutral position of the hip, without exaggerating the curvature of the spine.
To combat hyperlordosis : what you can do is a stretching exercise that consists of lying on your back, bending your legs and hugging them, staying in that position for a few seconds. Repeat the exercise 5 times.
To combat lumbar rectification : a good exercise consists of lying on your back and placing a ping pong ball where the curvature of the spine should be and maintaining that position for a few seconds. Remember to never put your body weight on the ball.
For best results it is important to consult a physical therapist for an individual assessment, especially if there is back pain.
How to correct posture while sleeping
To correct posture during sleep, one should sleep in an appropriate body position. The ideal is to lie on your side, with a small pillow between your knees and a pillow to support your head well, so the spine can be erect when viewed from the side. If possible, see yourself in the mirror in that position or ask someone else to see if the spine is apparently well positioned.
When sleeping on your back, you should use a lower pillow and place another pillow under your knees. It is not recommended to sleep on your stomach. Check out more details at: Find out the best Mattress and Pillow for you to sleep better .
When to do physical therapy
It is recommended to go to the physiotherapist when you have pain in your back, shoulders, neck or tension headache, especially if you have any deviation of the spine, presenting poor posture.
The main postural changes are anterior head; hyperkyphosis, popularly known as hunchback; hyperlordosis, and also the lateral deviation of the spine, which is scoliosis. All of these situations need to be corrected as soon as possible to avoid back pain, headaches, which also helps to prevent other more serious situations, such as herniated discs and sciatic nerve involvement, for example.
To be able to correct the vicious posture, which causes back pain, for example, it may be necessary to perform a specific treatment through advanced physiotherapy, which involves static exercises, guided by the physiotherapist, called RPG – Global Postural Reeducation. But before starting the treatment it is necessary to carry out a thorough evaluation of the posture to know what are the deviations that the person has, then to guide the stretching and strengthening exercises most suitable for each person, because normally the series of exercises is individual, because each human being is unique.