5 Most Common Posture Problems

There are many issues that arise from lifestyles that cause us to be hunched over a desk or extended out at a keyboard all day, and our general lack of emphasis on stretching does little to help. Most of them are fairly easy to detect and can be slowly corrected over time with minor adjustments.

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#1: Over-Pronated Feet

This is also called being “flat footed” and can be seen when the arch of the foot is diminished. To diagnose this, look to see if the medial side of the ankle leans inward rather than lining up with the heal. This can result from obeisity, pregnancy, improper footwear, or genetics, and it can cause stress to the foot, tightening of calf muscles, heal spurs, and Post-tib Tendonitis.  Orthotics are the best way to support the arch, but barefoot running/walking can also help strengthen the arches.

#2: Forward Hip Tilt

Sometimes your hips face at an almost downward angle instead of forward, causing tightening of the hip flexors and lower back. This can result from sitting too long or not stretching frequently enough. Static lunges such as the crescent lunge is a great way to stretch the hip flexors and keep the hips from being pulled down. Another way to remedy this postural problem is with glute activation, such as glute bridges, so that the hip flexors have to compete with their antagonist for control of the pelvis.

#3: Hunchback

If you can have someone take a photo of you from the side, this issue will be fairly easy to denote. If there is greater than a 40-45 degree curve in your upper back and your neck is at a forward angle, you are facing several possible postural problems. Sitting hunched over a computer screen all day causes chest muscles to tighten, upper back muscles to loosen, and the back to curve excessively. This form of curvature is medically referred to as Kyphosis. Myofascial release of the pectoral muscles is the simplest and best remedy and foam rolling can help with the upper back postural muscles.

#4: Forward Head

When looking at the view from your side, you may also notice that your head is jutting forward rather than your ears being lined up with your shoulders. The causes are all the same as hunchback postural problems. To correct it you must consciously pull your head back over your shoulders, while keeping your line of sight ahead. Massage can also help to relieve neck tension.

 #5: Rounded Shoulders

Another result of tightness through the chest is rounding of the shoulders. The “pencil test” is the easiest way to detect it. You relax your shoulders and let your arms hang comfortably while holding a pencil in the palm of each hand. The pencils should be pointing forward, but if they point inward, your shoulders are rounded as a result of pectoral tension. This rounding will also pull your shoulder blades apart and weaken the upper back postural muscles. Myofascial release and stretching of the chest again are the best immediate remedies, as well as strengthening of the upper back to counteract the forward pull.

Read More: http://www.builtlean.com/2011/11/28/posture-problems/

By: Gavin Ajami

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