ROLL WITH THE PROS: POSTURE
Dr. Chris Scott
Published April 14, 2021 at 5:00pm AST.
I think everyone can say that at one time they have felt those aches and pains caused by a long day of work having to either sit or stand for sometimes hours at a time takes a toll on our bodies and especially the muscles that help keep us upright. The reason for the soreness is because our muscles are designed more so for movement rather than to maintain a static and erect posture. Now posture can be defined by a position in which someone holds their body in but more so think of it as the foundational stance that your body then moves upon. Core alignment serves for a sloppy foundation and a sloppy foundation can only lead to nothing but dysfunction
following. This is like building in the bottom layer of a pyramid out of sand or planting a tree without roots. One's posture serves as a fundamental building block that a person then attaches movement to in order to complete their daily tasks and activities.
Now that we have an understanding of what posture is, let's take a look at what happens when you're unable to maintain a proper posture. It all starts with your spine, which serves as a literal backbone to this operation when it is correctly aligned it allows for proper stacking of your body's musculoskeletal structure and when it is not, pain and impairment can easily follow. For example, when the head falls out of alignment with your pelvis, your neck muscles, then have to work overtime in order to correct this misalignment. They're not only activated in order to keep you upright, but now they are fighting an overdrive to keep your head back into a proper position. Working double duty causes these muscles to become more easily fatigue, setting them up for pain or soreness. Now, imagine the scenario for 8 hours a day 5 days a week think about the stress and strain that this bad posture places on your body on a daily basis. This in turn creates imbalance as certain muscles will become elongated and weak, while others will become shortened and painful. Therefore, the ability to maintain good posture is vital to musculoskeletal health.
So how do we offer support to our body and it's daily struggle to maintain proper alignment? Use of a posture brace provides support to your body in two different ways. One, the physical support created by the brace assist your muscles in their duty to keep you upright. Second, It serves somewhat like what is called a reactive neuromuscular training technique in short, an RNT, which utilizes external resistance or in this case external support in order to facilitate an automatic subconscious response at the neuromuscular level. Your body will begin to respond by presenting in the appropriate posture based on the proper alignment the brace puts it in. This translates into improved postures and less compensation and a decreased chance of pain. Now in order to use the upper back posture correct, it is as simple as throwing it around your back. Just as you would a backpack, you want to shoot for it to be snug, providing a very gentle pull to the front of your shoulders. This will help put your thoracic spine in a correct position in order for you to sit for extended periods of time. In order to cement this posture, then help correct the muscular imbalances in place by using the vertiball to help free up the front side of your thorax and perform exercises like rows, swimmers and snow angels.
Utilizing this method daily will help prevent you from having to sit or stand at work in pain ever again.