Correcting body alignment and body mechanics may seem tedious, time consuming, and unimportant. However a forward head, rounded upped back posture, lack of strength and flexibility to the trunk, thighs, neck and shoulder girdle can cause increased curvature and excessive weight bearing on the spine. These compressive forces will only intensify pain and/or discomfort and increase the chance of further injury. Therefore, it is imperative to correct poor posture in order to alleviate pain.
Check your posture with the following exercise:
Press your heels, buttocks, shoulders and head firmly against the wall. Walk 3-5 steps away from the wall; hold for 5 seconds. Return to the wall by walking backwards. Did you have to readjust your posture? Pay particular attention to your head and neck. Practice this exercise a few times per day until you are able to walk back to the wall without making any postural adjustments.
NOTE: Were you able to get your heels and shoulders against the wall? Increasing your flexibility will allow you to do so over time.
To aid in keeping your shoulders back, try the following stretches:
Corner Stretch (Flexibility)
Movement: Stand 2-3 feet away from and facing a corner of a room. Place hands on the wall at shoulder height. Pull abdominals in and lean chest and hips into the corner; hold for 10-15 seconds. Hands can be adjusted up then down to change the stretch.
– To walk further away from the corner.
– To keep hips, shoulders and back aligned.
Passive Posture (Flexibility)
Roll up three small towels. Place them on the floor. Lie on the towels so that one towel is under the natural curve in your neck, the other is in between your shoulder blades and the third is in the natural curve of your lower back. Rotate palms toward the ceiling. Lie in this position for 1-3 minutes.