Do you remember as a child making a silly face and your mom admonishing, “If you keep making that face it’s going to get stuck like that”? Did you ever look at your grandparent walking bent over and think about why they stand that way? I bet in both cases you thought that would never happen to you. But could it? Was your mom just trying to stop you from being annoying or did she have a point? Is your grandparent’s posture something only they would have, or could you look like that one day too? The fact is, your mom did make a good point about repetitive actions getting “stuck” and yes you could one day be hunched over like your grandparent.
Much of our current posture, the way we sit, stand and walk is an accumulation of the positions we held in our younger years. The bent up position of a senior citizen is not due to one thing, but generally due to a lifetime of actions and postures leading to the person you see today. The posture you use today leads to your posture tomorrow and if you keep using that same position, you can get “stuck” like that.
Look at people around you today; how are they sitting or standing? Where is their head? How do they hold their shoulders? What does their spine look like? All around we see people from kids to adults with their heads bent forward, their shoulders slumped forward and their spine in a “C” shaped curve as they are bent over their phones texting, watching videos or reading. Their position in front of the computer is about the same. Sitting on a couch watching television they are still in a similar position. Doesn’t that position look an awful lot like your grandfather’s posture?
If you sit, stand, work and relax in that terrible posture, you will get “stuck” like that. You will look like your grandparent. And that terrible posture doesn’t just look bad, it creates a diverse array of stresses on your joints, your digestive system and your cardiovascular system; it ages you!
Have you noticed young adults are already stuck in this unhealthy posture? Doesn’t it make them look tired, unhealthy and older? In our current society we are thrust into these bad postures more and more. It will have consequences in future years. I am already seeing it in my practice with younger people having more spinal problems, more shoulder pains and injuries, more headaches and in general worse health.
Can it be fixed? Yes. And the earlier you address your posture, the better you will be. Utilizing these bad postures constantly will, over time, cause changes in your bones, joints, muscles and ligaments. And those changes can be permanent. Those bad postures will cause pain and deterioration in your health.
Start with a look in the mirror. How are you standing? Head up, shoulders back, spine upright with gentle curves in neck and back, or head bent, shoulders forward, no arch in your neck and low back. Pull yourself up into a position that looks good. Can you do it? Is it comfortable? If yes, practice that position and get back into it throughout the day. Can’t get in a good posture or it is uncomfortable? You will likely need professional help to address the physical changes you must have.
Get to our office for a structural evaluation of your posture and recommendations to treat the deficiencies. The sooner you decide to improve your posture the more likely it will be that you won’t get “stuck like that” and look like your grandparent.