5 Posture Problems, Causes, and Solutions

5 Posture Problems, Causes, and Solutions #TheWellnessUniverse #WUVIP #PostureProblems

5 Posture Problems, Causes, and Solutions  — The 1st Part of A Blog Series by WU World Changer Dr. Christine Ferley

5 Common Posture Problems:

  1. Over-Pronated Feet:

Causes-

This problem can be caused by pregnancy, obesity, improper footwear, or daily repetitive pounding on hard surfaces which can lead to weakening of the arch. When the arch of the foot is weakened this can lead to over-pronation and sometimes even a flat foot.

Identification-

You can identify this by placing both hands one inch away from each side of your foot. Straighten your ankle so that the space between each hand and your ankle is equal. Let your ankle and feet rest and if your foot and ankle caved inward, you have over-pronated feet.

Problem-

Over-pronation can add stress to the foot, tightening of the calf muscles, and can also internally rotate the knees. This problem often leads to Plantar Fasciitis, Heel Spurs, Metatarsalgia, Post-Tibial Tendonitis and/or Bunions. Twenty to thirty percent of Americans have flat feet or over-pronated feet.

Solution-

If your arch has already fallen, orthotics are the best bet. It is better to have it fitted to your foot but they do sell them in pharmacies and other stores. If the arch is in the process of falling or is weak, barefoot running and walking may help strengthen the arches, but check with your doctor.

  1. Forward Hip Tilt:

Causes-

Sitting for long periods of time and not stretching can shorten the hip flexor muscles.

Identification-

Identifying this can be difficult but one way is to purposely tilt your pelvis forward as far as you can, then backward as far as you can. You may realize your natural hip tilt is not far from the exaggerated forward tilt.

Problem-

A forward hip tilt (aka Anterior Pelvic Tilt) is associated with tight hip flexor muscles (a group of muscles located on the front of your hips that pull the knee upward). As you walk, tight hip flexors prevent the gluteal muscles from working which forces the hamstring muscles to become overworked and excessively tight. If you have tight hamstrings, the main cause might be tight hip flexors and an anterior pelvic tilt.

Solution-

Stretching your hip flexor muscles with static lunges along with exercises like the glute bridge, using a foam roller and stretching your hamstrings can all help with this problem.

  1. Hunchback:

Causes-

Sitting with poor posture, especially at an office doing computer work.

Identification-

The best approach to identifying this problem is to have someone take a photo of you standing sideways. Try to be relaxed during the photos so they will reveal your true posture form. If the photo reveals that your upper back is excessively curved (greater than 40-45 degrees), you most likely have hunchback posture.

Problem-

Sitting hunched over a computer screen forces the chest muscles to tighten, which can then cause excessive curvature (kyphosis) of the upper back (thoracic spine). The postural muscles in the upper back can become loose and weakened.

Solution-

To relieve the chest tightness, you can use a massage ball along with stretching the chest muscles.

  1. Rounded Shoulders:

Causes-

This is also caused by poor posture, especially in an office while typing, or performing an imbalanced exercise routine such as excessive chest presses.

Identification-

Start by holding a pencil (or pen) in each hand. If the pencils are pointing straight forward, with your arms comfortably at your sides, this indicates correct posture. If the pencils are facing each other or rotated at an angle, you most likely have internally rotated shoulders.

Problem-

Just like our previous problem, sitting hunched over a computer screen forces the chest muscles to tighten, thus internally rotating the shoulders forward. The postural muscles in the upper back weaken and loosen.

Solution-

The solution to this problem is the same as for hunchback (see #3).

  1. Forward Head Tilt:

Causes-

Sitting in an office chair hunched over while staring at a computer.

Identification-

Again, have someone take a photo of you standing sideways. Using the photo, locate your AC joint (the bony protrusion on the side of your shoulder). Then check if your earlobe is on top of the AC joint. If your earlobe extends in FRONT of your AC joint, you have a forward head tilt.

Problem-

The muscles in the back of the neck become tight, along with the upper trapezius and levator scapulae (upper back muscles).

Solution-

First, you want to practice proper head posture by sliding your head backward while keeping your line of sight straight ahead. Make sure you don’t tilt your head upwards as you slide your head back.

Lastly, getting a massage with a massage ball against your upper back will help alleviate tension around your neck.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this series next week where I share with you 6 exercises for better posture.

– Dr. Christine



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