COVID and 2020 have brought a whole new dynamic to our home, work, and school lives. A more sedentary lifestyle has been established. Sitting for hours on end reading a book to study, looking at our phones scrolling through social media, and sitting at our desks and computers to complete work and homework assignments is the new normal. How many times a day do you catch yourself feeling pain in your upper back, neck, or low back because you have been looking at your phone, computer, or book for too long? Do you feel like your posture has changed or is causing you pain?
How do you know if your posture is causing your pain? The signs and symptoms of postural dysfunction are developing a kyphotic (hunch back) posture, slumped posture, rounded shoulders, a forward sitting head, pain in the neck or back, and muscle fatigue.
What puts you at risk for developing pain and postural dysfunction? Prior injuries to the neck, shoulders, or back. A sedentary lifestyle that includes sitting for longer periods of time work and for school work. Other factors include, muscle weakness, muscle tightness, and joint hypomobility (tightness in the spine or decreased range of motion).
So what can you do to improve your posture and reduce your pain? You can improve your posture by making a few lifestyle adjustments. You could seek guidance from a professional, such as a Physical Therapist. Physical Therapists can teach you exercises to strengthen and stabilize the muscles that support your posture, learn proper ways to stretch and improve joint mobility.