Stretch & Posture


"Good posture allows the joints of your spine to move through their complete range of motion. There is a significant amount of nervous system information going to your brain from the nerves in the joints in your spine. This information helps your brain and nervous system to coordinate body movements. Proper motion in the upper neck stimulates brain function. Standing up straight allows your organs to function properly. The lungs can get more oxygen and the stomach can digest food more efficiently when you stand up straight. More energy is the natural result of efficient nutrient and oxygen absorption. If you struggle with motivation due to fatigue, posture is an important place to start. One study even showed that students with the best sitting posture scored significantly higher on tests. 


A common misconception about good posture is that it will have to feel rigid, like a military soldier. While it might feel a little odd at first, good posture should be relaxed and natural. Attaining natural looking, good posture is only a few exercises away!

One of the biggest issues with posture is what we call “forward head carriage’ and ‘rounding shoulders’. This often happens as the result of repetitive strain from sitting at a desk for long hours, slouching and looking down at a device (smartphone slump or tech neck). The muscles in the front of the body tend to shorten and tighten from being in this posture for long periods of time while muscles in the back (extensor muscles) lengthen and weaken.

Since bad posture often happens more with sitting. So the first thing you can do to battle bad posture is to stand more. What are some ways you could stand more throughout your day? One of the things I often recommend to patients who have desk jobs is investing in an adjustable ‘sit to stand’ work-station. It doesn’t have to be fancy, often you can find ways to stand at a counter with your notebook computer or download an audio book and listen to it while you go for a walk. Another option for those with notebook computers is to invest in wireless keyboard and mouse, these are only about $20-40 and allows you to raise the monitor to eye-level.

One of the biggest issues with posture is what we call “forward head carriage’ and ‘rounding shoulders’. This often happens as the result of repetitive strain from sitting at a desk for long hours, slouching and looking down at a device (smartphone slump or tech neck). The muscles in the front of the body tend to shorten and tighten from being in this posture for long periods of time while muscles in the back (extensor muscles) lengthen and weaken.

Since bad posture often happens more with sitting. So the first thing you can do to battle bad posture is to stand more. What are some ways you could
stand more throughout your day? One of the things I often recommend to patients who have desk jobs is investing in an adjustable ‘sit to stand’ work-station. It doesn’t have to be fancy, often you can find ways to stand at a counter with your notebook computer or download an audio book and listen to it while you go for a walk. Another option for those with notebook computers is to invest in wireless keyboard and mouse, these are only about $20-40 and allows you to raise the monitor to eye-level.

Extensor Activation Exercises

thumbsup


1. Hold your arms straight out in front of you.

thumbsup

2. Bring the right arm up and out at a 45 degree angle while following the
thumb with your eyes turning the head to look up and back at the ceiling
behind you, hold this position for 1 second then return to center and
repeat with the left arm.

3. Repeat 3-4 times on each side. (Optional: attempt to balance on one leg while doing the exercise.)

Flexor Stretches:

Stretching the tight flexor muscles on the front of the spine will help to bring the posture back to center. Stretches shown include the anterior scalenes (front of the neck) pectoralis (front of shoulders and chest) Psoas/ hip-flexor (front of lower spine and hip) and Hamstrings (back of the thigh).

chairlunge

shoulder

ITband

Extensor Strengthening

Strengthening the extensor muscles will help to hold the head and shoulders up. When these muscles weaken the head moves forward and shoulders slouch, this puts stress on the neck and even the lower back. This type of posture sets up athletes for injury and can even cause the scoliosis development in growing adolescents.

superman

ball

The exercises shown are simple include a basic superman (raising arms and legs simultaneously while raising the head and holding for a few seconds and repeat 12 reps) if you have an exercise ball, brace the legs under a coffee table or have someone hold your feet, extend the back while raising one arm up an over while turning the head like with the extensor activation exercise. Hold for a second and release, repeat on the opposite side performing a total of 8-12 reps to start. You can add reps as you get stronger. More extensor strengthening includes counter-top push-ups, jumping rope, jumping jacks, lat pulls and rows (taking special care to hold the shoulders back while performing these exercises).

Office Hours

Our Regular Schedule

Dewitt Office

Monday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Dr. Jennifer

Tuesday:

7:00 am-6:00 pm

Dr. Jennifer 7-2 | Dr. Terresa 11-6

Wednesday:

8:00 am-6:00 pm

Dr. Jennifer

Thursday:

9:00 am-6:00 pm

Dr. Terresa

Friday:

7:00 am-4:30 pm

Dr. Jennifer

Saturday:

8:30 am-12:00 pm

Dr. Terresa

Sunday:

Closed

Locations

Find us on the map