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Myth # 1: Sitting up Taller = Good Posture
Fact: True in some cases, not in all
Everyone remembers when mama said “Sit up taller” everytime you slouched. But does that advice always apply to having an ideal posture. While mama’s heart was certainly in the right place, this advice does not necessarily apply to everyone suffering from back, neck & shoulder pain.
Your ideal posture is determined by your Mckenzie Specialist by assessing your pain, Range of motion & putting you a thorough mechanical exam. During the exam, the posture that best helps your symptoms & mechanics (Range of motion, way your joints move etc) is determined by your specialist & you are taught several ways to maintain your posture throughout the day.
In some cases, (75% or more) this postural change requires sitting up with a better lordosis or curvature in your lower back & in others it may require sitting in a neutral posture with no lordosis support (aka without lumbar support). It all depends on WHAT is happening at the spinal level & can be determined by a thorough mechanical exam not by X-Rays or MRI.
Myth # 2: Using a Standing Desk will solve all Postural problems
Fact: It all depends, ideally a change of positions is better
How many of you are expecting a standing desk from your boss as a way to show they care about your health & there are others who already have that expensive standing desk but no relief of back, neck or shoulder pain in sight. Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
While I have nothing against standing desks, it is in fact an advice I give to a lot of my patients, my point is that standing desk is again a great way to break up that sitting all day long. But standing all day long may not be best either. Most often, the key lies in switching positions from time to time.
Another big aspect of standing desks is the way your computer screen is positioned on the standing desk. If your computer screen is too far off, then you can still have a “forward head” posture even on the standing desk causing neck, shoulder pain & headaches.
My point again is that all depends on your spine & your aches/pains. Trying to find a solution without addressing or knowing the cause of the problem won’t take you too far!
Myth # 3: Good Posture is the same for everyone
Fact: There is No One Size fits all when it comes to Posture.
It is a great gesture to gift your Lumbar Roll to your spouse or a close friend because it significantly helped with your symptoms. If you have ever worked with me, you know it is something I very commonly prescribe.
However, there is no One Size Fits All when it comes to Posture either. For most people, 75% or more will benefit from using a Standard Density Lumbar Roll to help support lordosis in the back but for a good number especially if you have symptoms down the leg or the arm, this might not be the case.
In fact, sometimes you have to go through a series of movements before your spine can even tolerate the Lumbar Roll. Additionally, there are several types of Postural Rolls available & each is designed & prescribed for a specific purpose.
So next time while it is a great gesture to share your “postural tips” with your friends or spouse but it may not always be sound advice especially if they are in pain. Getting a mechanical assessment first is always the best choice!
Myth #4: I should Only have Good Posture at Work
Fact: maintaining an Optimal Posture applies to not only work but also in the car, being in a flight, sitting at a restaurant, concert or church...anywhere and everywhere
Once you have your personalized postural guidelines, how far can you go with it? You do not want to restrict your spine being in its “optimal position” to just office hours, it carries over to spending time in the car or in the metro/bus, taking a long flight to basically anywhere you will find yourself being in one position for prolonged time.
After all, why should there be any less of the optimal thing happening at your spine, right. If you have ever experienced back, leg or shoulder pain especially while or after traveling, your car/bus ride or the flight posture is a common reason to blame for it.
So, next time you are packing for a holiday, make sure to pack your “ideal posture” whatever that may be. I mean if LeBron James can wear his Lumbar Roll to his Summer vacation, so can you!
Myth # 5: I cannot maintain good posture at work, especially when I get busy; It’s hard to focus on work & think about posture at the same time...let’s be real…
Fact: 100% agreed if you follow the general cookie-cutter postural guidelines that pretty much want you to sit like a robot; Not if you have your personalized realistic guidelines that FIT your lifestyle.
So many people I talk to assume that having a good “posture” is sitting up tall like a Robot - shoulder blades squeezed, tummy tucked in...you get the idea. But that is far from the truth!
After your mechanical assessment, once you are prescribed postural guidelines that fit you, they may be far too easy to implement than you can ever imagine. It does not have to be as complicated as it sounds. After all, the phrase “Keep it Simple, Stupid!” was coined for a reason.
Want to learn more?
So, liked what you read? Wondering what your “ideal posture” should be like? Give us a Call to inquire about getting your personalized Postural assessment today.
If you or someone you know experiences this very familiar lower back pain or stiffness, neck, shoulder or upper back pain call us or visit our website to talk to your Spine Specialist today or you can even schedule a Free Phone Consultation to learn more specifically about your problem and ways in which we can probably help.
We also know not everyone is ready to commit to regular physical therapy appointments, and that’s why we offer our Free Information Guide! This Guide is for people in our community who want really valuable, expert information about their Back Pain or Sciatica problems. We know it’s confusing out there with all of the information floating around on Google and Facebook, and this is a valuable first step towards getting some real answers for your problem.
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