Although the average American spends over 3.5 hours per day staring at their smartphone, less than half of them report feeling concerned about their chronic poor posture.
Have you ever thought about how your posture might be affecting your health? Did you know that there’s more than one way to have “bad” posture?
Read on to learn about 4 types of postural deviations. You’ll also find out how physical therapy can help you to correct them.
What Are the Risks of Bad Posture?
Poor posture can contribute to a wide range of health issues. In addition to causing or worsening chronic neck, back, and shoulder pain, postural deviations have been linked to these surprising health conditions:
- Incontinence: Slouching puts pressure on your bladder and may cause leaks
- Constipation: Poor posture may compress the bowels and lead to constipation
- Heartburn: Poor posture while eating places pressure on your abdomen and may force stomach acid to move in the wrong direction
Even if your back and neck are feeling fine, if you’ve been struggling with any of these issues, you may find that improving your posture could help.
4 Common Postural Deviations
Four primary postural deviations can contribute to chronic pain and other issues. They are as follows:
Kyphosis causes the upper back to round.
Those with kyphosis have a hunched back and look as though they’re slouching, even when they feel they’re standing up straight. People of all ages experience kyphosis, but it’s especially common among older women.
Lordosis causes the lower back to arch excessively and the head to protrude forward. It’s often referred to as a swayback.
Lordosis is common among those with osteoporosis, as well as those who are obese, pregnant, often wear high heels, or sleep on their stomachs.
3. Flat Back
The spine naturally curves in an “S” shape. For those with a flat back, though, the spine loses its lower curve and appears flat. This causes the person to lean forward and contributes to back and leg pain.
A flat back may be caused by degenerative disc disease, compression fractures, or a condition known as ankylosing spondylitis.
4. Forward Head
Forward head posture involves the head and neck jutting forward past the shoulders. It’s sometimes referred to as “tech neck” and is common among frequent smartphone or laptop users.
How to Fix Postural Deviations with Physical Therapy
One of the best ways to address these postural deviations is with physical therapy.
Physical therapists identify your unique postural issues and create a personalized plan to overcome them. This plan might include stretching, muscle strengthening exercises, and techniques like dry needling to relieve pain and increase range of motion.
Find Physical Therapy for Postural Deviations Today
If you struggle with any of the postural deviations discussed in this guide, you’re not alone.
Working with a physical therapist is a great way to strengthen weak muscles, stretch tight muscles, and improve your posture. If you’re located in or around the Papillon area, contact us today at GinaV Physical Therapy to learn more about our services or schedule an appointment.