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The following article was published in Your Health Magazine. Our mission is to empower people to live healthier.
Paul Rhyu, DC, OMD, PhD
Good Posture For Overall Good Health
Natura Pain Clinic
. http://www.naturapainclinic.com

Good Posture For Overall Good Health

Its been more than 30 years since my mother ordered me to “Stand up straight!” or “Stop slouching!” It seems that I need those gentle reminders now more than ever.
Posture is simply defined as the position of your body in space. Good posture puts your body in a state of precise muscular and skeletal balance, minimizing stress on joints, bones and muscles.
Incorrect posture, on the other hand, places a tremendous strain on your body. It can lead to joint and muscle pain and stiffness, especially in your back and neck. Bad posture doesnt just affect your bones and muscles, it can have a negative impact on your respiratory, digestive and circulatory systems as well.
While poor posture is often the result of poor effort, it can be the consequence of a medical malady. Sometimes, bad posture is caused by an injury to the muscles, joints, or bones in your neck, back or legs.
Adolescents who cant seem to stand up straight may have an abnormal curvature of the spine called scoliosis. Older adults who find themselves slumping could have osteoporosis. Jobs that require you to sit slumped over a keyboard or to stand bent over a workstation day after day can take a serious toll on your spine.
The best way to accomplish good posture is to stand with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles stacked in a straight line. This stance will encourage the correct positioning of the three natural curves in your spine. Most folks with poor posture fall into one of two categories slouchers or swaybacks. If youre a sloucher, your shoulders are rounded and rolled forward, causing your head to droop toward your chest. Slouching strains the muscles of your neck and shoulders, and increases your chances of developing headaches and neck problems.
The opposite of the slouch position is the swayback position. If you have this type of posture, your stomach sticks out in front and your buttocks protrudes in the rear. Your lower back takes on an exaggerated curve, straining the muscles and contributing to low back pain.
To find out how your posture stacks up, you can take this simple test in the privacy of your own home. Standing with your heels about two to four inches from a wall, place the back of your head, your shoulder blades, and your buttocks against the wall. In this position, you should be able to fit your hand snugly between the wall and your lower back.
Folks with swayback posture will be able to fit more than a hands thickness in the space. Those who are slouchers will find it difficult to make room for a single finger. If your posture is less than perfect, you can take steps to change it. Exercises, to strengthen, can bring about dramatic improvements. Consult with your doctor about what program would be best for you.
If youve been neglecting your posture for years, you shouldnt expect to correct it overnight. But with some hard work and persistence, youll eventually develop a posture that will make you and your mother proud.
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