Author: Rosemary Buckle, M.D.
Whether you’ve had a spinal deformity since birth or have slowly developed a slumped-keyboard stance at work, bad posture affects many of us. Poor posture can cause muscle soreness, fatigue, headache and other symptoms that subtly color our daily lives. Improper skeletal alignment also increases risk of injury and gives off body language signals that could be damaging to our careers and relationships.
The good news is bad posture can be improved in many cases. As a Houston orthopedic doctor, I work with many patients who are seeking to correct skeletal issues for better posture and better overall health. So, today on the blog, I’d like to share a new infographic from Medical Daily, which offers some suggestions for identifying and correcting poor posture. The full infographic has been reposted below.
What Type of Ankle & Arch Positioning Do You Have?
Good posture begins in the feet. Knowing your ankle and arch positioning can empower you to purchase shoes and athletic equipment that supports your body type and protects your health.
- Normal Arch Type means you have a neutral alignment. You should purchase shoes that prioritize stability through cushioning and control.
- High Arch Type means your foot rolls outward. You should purchase shoes that prioritize cushioning by emphasizing shock absorption.
- Flat Arch Type means your foot rolls inward. You should purchase shoes that prioritize motion control through firmer materials.
Foot Strengthening Exercises
Here are two exercises you can do to strengthen your feet (and thereby improve posture):
- Toe Grab Exercise: Place your toes over a pencil. Pick up the pencil by curling the toes around it.
- Short Foot Maneuver: Change your foot length from a resting foot dome length to a shortened foot dome length by drawing in the foot.
The pelvis is another main area where posture problems can develop. Common pelvic tilt issues include:
- Swaying back
- Anterior pelvic tilt
- Thoracic kyphosis
- Forward head
A healthy posture stacks the neck, spine and pelvis over the ankles in an upright, neutral position.
Shoulder & Chest Posture
Common shoulder and chest posture issues include:
- Forward head
- Hunched or sway back
- Rounded shoulders
- Weak abdominal muscles
Touchstones of a Healthy Posture
- Relaxed shoulders that are anchored into the spine
- Gaze straight ahead
- Shoulders, hips and ankles in line
- Neutral pelvis with gluteal muscles engaged and abdomen pulled up
Schedule With a Houston Orthopedic Doctor
Posture improvements are possible at any age. For an evaluation, contact Houston Institute for Sports Medicine & Orthopedics. Call (713) 756-5546 to schedule an appointment, or schedule online.
Please consult with your physician before undertaking any form of medical treatment or adopting any exercise program or dietary guidelines.