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How Prolonged Sitting Causes Posture Problems

curved spine of womanMany people are suffering from posture-related health problems without even realising it, simply because of the demands of modern lifestyles such as working at computers for eight or more hours a day or staring downward at smartphones for extended periods.

Because of the prolonged sitting that we regularly do, now more than ever in the history of the human species, we’re all starting to shorten up particular muscles in our bodies, such as our hip flexors, and other areas in our shoulders and necks. We are now encountering something people are calling tech/text neck, and the first sign of this is when your head starts to creep forward of your shoulders.

Over time this becomes something called the anterior head carriage. When combined with the effect of gravity, we can end up with abnormal ways of carrying our head’s weight and develop poor neck and shoulder alignment.

When you’re dealing with shortening muscles and excess strain on the body regularly, you start to get sore painful muscles and are more prone to injury and fatigue-simply because your body is not moving and stretching appropriately/effectively throughout the course of the day.

Conditions Complicated by Poor Posture

Several things can happen to our bodies when we have poor posture and are sitting for long periods of time. With an anterior head carriage, conditions like headaches, neck strain, and shoulders that are rolled forward can become more frequent, feel permanent and become increasingly painful.

In addition to those conditions, prolonged sitting compresses your spine. When you compress your low back for a long time, you can aggravate that area and the related discs, causing pain, discomfort and over time damage and degeneration.

Our Approach

When a patient comes to Edmonton Tower Chiropractic for postural correction, the first thing we do is explain what normal/healthy posture is supposed to be like and try to put the patient in a proper posture position. “I want a patient to understand what normal/healthy posture is supposed to feel like, and then share with them that the number one cause for posture abnormalities on this planet is prolonged sitting,” said Dr. Niz.

While everyone needs to sit at some point throughout the day, it’s the prolonged sitting that becomes an issue.

Assess and Correct

What comes next is an assessment of what prolonged sitting has done to the patient’s spine and overall body structure. Dr. Niz will then work to correct those abnormalities and fixations, as well as the muscles around those fixations that have shortened because of chronic or prolonged sitting.

In addition to chiropractic adjustments, Dr. Niz offers a posture retraining program, which involves lifestyle habit changes, lengthening muscles that have shortened, and strengthening muscles that have weakened.

With his broad experience, Dr. Niz has created effective, convenient plans that really work. “I’ve implemented them over the last 15 years and found out what works and what doesn’t. We do not rely on discipline, willpower, or commitment. We rely on structure. So, if it fits your life, it’s going to work,” he said.

For example, we share with people what we call ‘sipping on stretches’, which simply means doing stretches throughout the day, like you sip on water. So rather than having a 15-minute stretch session in the morning or 15 minutes at night, you’re doing micro stretching throughout the day.”

If you are sitting too much and experiencing pain, contact us today to book an appointment. Let us help you retrain your posture and improve your health so you can enjoy life again.