Posture and Ergonomics

Poor posture can cause a range problems including back pain, spinal problems, poor circulation, joint degeneration and rounded shoulders.

Good posture can help relieve back pain and involves training your body to function in positions where the least amount of strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments.

When improving your posture, your osteopath will work with you to determine the cause and decide on a course of treatment.

Problems caused by posture

Poor posture can cause problems including:

  • back pain
  • headaches
  • spinal problems
  • muscle fatigue and strain
  • joint degeneration and increased disc problems
  • ligament laxity/stretch
  • rounded shoulders
  • poor circulation.

Posture and Ergonomics
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Two of the most common posture problems explained

Headaches and rounded shoulders are two of the most common problems caused by poor posture and they are easily, if seldom explained to those that suffer pain from them.

Who hasn't finished a long day at the computer and ended up with a headache? Most people have experienced this at least once. This is because over the course of the day people start slumping down in their chair. As a result they tend to tilt their head up a little in relation to the rest of their neck in order to see the screen. This created compression of the structures at the very top, back of their neck. This is where you subocciptal muscles are located and when they develop trigger points they can refer pain into your head, resulting in a headache.

The second issue is rounded shoulders and the issues it creates are not just cosmetic. Most people have heard of their rotator cuff muscles. These are a group of four muscles that stabilise your shoulder as you move it. Because they are used in all shoulder movement the body forms a bump on the arm bone where they attach. You may have also heard of sports people talking about their "AC" joint. This is a joint between your shoulder blade and your collar bone and it sits on top of your shoulder joint creating a very narrow space for your top rotator cuff muscle, the supraspinatus, to move through. When your shoulders become rounded the bumpy attachment site of this muscle can rub on the part of the shoulder blade which makes up the AC joint and causes common issues such as bursitis and supraspinatus tendonitis.

How osteopaths improve posture

Osteopaths may improve your posture by:
  • improving muscular flexibility in your body
  • improving range of joint motion in the spine and extremities
  • providing instruction on ‘good’ posture
  • advising on ergonomics
  • providing exercises to strengthen postural muscles.