I spend more than eight hours in front of my laptop or home computer for work. That is why my neck, shoulder, and back always ache after my shift. At night, I apply some pain relief patches and ointment. It works. As I wake up in the morning, I am ready for another stressful shift in the office.
What I did not notice is that my posture changed. My back started to slouch, affecting my self-esteem. When I present in front of my colleagues, I felt conscious with my posture. I began to feel embarrassed when I delivered speeches or attended seminars.
Apart from losing my confidence, my bad posture hurts. I started to experience pain in my knees, back, and neck. That’s not all. I always suffer from digestive issues, circulation problems, and heartburn, which is incredibly inconvenient.
Luckily, I found a good physiotherapist/chiropractor. Now, my posture is back to normal. I am more confident now. I am not too conscious when facing a large crowd. Plus, my back and neck are not as painful as before.
If you suffer from a bad posture, here are some exercises I have learned from my therapist that I would be happy to share with you:
A bridge exercise is popular for those with bad posture because it helps strengthen the abdominal and gluteal muscles, helping relieve the tension in your lower back. It works the hamstrings and abs. It is an excellent exercise for individuals who cannot squat due to hip, knee, and back pain.
But as a beginner, you may find this workout difficult. Don’t worry! You just have to lie on your back while your feet are flat on your mat and your knees are bent. After that, engage your buttocks muscles and core to lift your hips. Then, lower your back down to your starting position. That’s it! Do this on your mat for your comfort.
Yoga is a good way to help you manage stress. It may also be an excellent remedy for slouching posture. A child’s pose, in particular, opens your hips and lengthens your lower back. It may help release tension in the chest/back/shoulders, stretch the spine, encourage steady breathing, and normalize body circulation.
To do this yoga pose, get down onto your knees and hands. Next, lean your body backward (do this smoothly) until your forehead touches your yoga mat. After that, be sure your arms make a straight line while your buttocks rest on your heels. When done regularly, your can experience a big difference in your posture.
Plank pose is another chiropractor-recommended exercise to correct your posture. It strengthens muscles in the back, shoulders, hamstrings, glutes, and core. It also increases muscle definition, heightens metabolism, improves balance, enhances joint health, relieves stress, and boosts mood. Similar to other exercises, a plank pose is easy. Just get down onto your knees and hands (be sure your hands are aligned with your shoulders. The same with your knees and hips). After that, come onto the balls of your feet to straighten your legs or lift your heels. Remember to keep your shoulders back and chest open. Hold this plank pose for a minute or less.
Aside from a child’s pose, tadasana, commonly called mountain pose, may also help improve posture, align your upper body, improve body awareness, and strengthen your legs. Although it sounds intimidating, the mountain pose is simple yet effective. All you need to do is to stand upright on the floor or your yoga mat. Gently rock forward or backward. Next, bend your knees and squeeze your thighs.
Remember to tilt your tailbone down. Then, drop your shoulders down. Be sure to relax your shoulders. Practice good breathing exercises as well. For a more comprehensive or step-by-step process, please feel free to watch video tutorials on YouTube and other platforms if necessary.
Consult a Chiropractor, Physiotherapist, and Other Medical Professionals
Nothing can beat the services of a licensed and experienced medical professional. If your posture is too bad, consult a physiotherapist and chiropractor. Follow everything they say for your safety and comfort. When you have a desk job, try to maintain good posture. Make it a habit. If you feel some tension in your neck, back, and shoulder, take a break and warm-up for a few minutes. It helps!