Frederick Posture

Frederick Posture

neck pain

Posture is a more than just confidence and standing up tall. Posture has an effect on the total health of your musculoskeletal system. Having good posture means the proper alignment of the spine and balance of the musculature. Good posture helps minimize the strain on joints, which can decrease the likelihood of injury. When one stands with good posture, the weight of the body is distributed evenly across each individual joint. The musculature works in unison for stabilization and the body is more efficient with its movement. Poor posture increases the forces of gravity on the spine and puts strain on the whole system. It can lead to increased degeneration of the joints or even chronic pain syndromes.


There are many causes of poor posture; the four main being injury, excessive weight, muscle imbalance and self esteem. A soft tissue injury to any portion of the body, not just the neck or back, causes one to adapt with an antalgic posture. This means that the body becomes programmed to avoid the painful position and changes the way you hold yourself erect and walk. Excessive weight in the abdominal area can change your center of gravity and pulls the low back forward.  Muscle imbalance can be differences in strength on one side of the body or more commonly as the result of prolonged strain to postural muscles. Typically people who sit for extended periods of time without proper lumbar support acquire decreased gluteal strength, tight hamstrings and tight hip flexors.  Individuals with low self-esteem keep their head down and shoulders forward. This is also common in people suffering from depression.  This can decrease the cervical curvature and lead to muscle imbalance. They commonly have tight pectoralis musculature, weak deep neck flexors and weakened lower trapezius musculature.


Correction of posture includes correction of the actions which lead to the poor posture initially. Strengthening exercises for weakened muscles as well as stretches for tightened muscles helps promote muscle balance. Postural awareness is also important to promote good posture. Standing up tall and remembering what good alignment feels like, helps maintain muscular balance for prolonged periods of time. Making sure to have a supportive mattress and an ergonomically sound workspace, helps decrease the strain on posture.


How to check your posture at home:

  • Stand with your heels six inches from the wall, with your buttocks, shoulder blades and the back of your head touching the wall.
  • There should be less than two inches between your neck or the small of the back and the wall. If this distance is two inches or more, it indicates improper posture and excessive curvature to the spine.

Dr. Autumn Fox at Valley Chiropractic in Frederick, MD can help with a postural assessment, and will prescribe the necessary exercises to correct and reduce postural strain on your spine.

Chiropractic VA and MD Accessible Beltway Clinics