Proper body posture is key to having a healthy back and spine. Having good body posture isn’t always easy, though, as lousy everyday habits such as slouching at a desk lead to bad posture in the long run. If you already have a bad posture, don’t worry; we have everything you need to know about proper posture alignment. Let’s get right into it!
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Posture Alignment – Overview
A good body posture is one where your body parts, such as your shoulders, neck, and back, are correctly aligned. The secret behind correct body posture is gravity. Your entire body is constantly pressing down on your joints because of gravity. A good posture minimizes the stress on your joints and body due to weight.
Posture alignment exercises strengthen muscles that help hold your head, shoulders, and back in position. They also help develop good posture habits that can help relax your neck and back.
Examples of Bad Posture
Most people are not aware of their bad posture throughout the day. Here are some common poor postures that people have:
- Extending the neck in front of your shoulders. This is also called the ‘nerd neck.’
- Stretching your upper body in front of your lower body. In most cases, you can notice your hips extended behind you
- Leaning your upper body back. This is also called a swayback
- Sleeping on your stomach
- Slouched shoulders throughout the day
How Do You Know If Your Body Is Out Of Alignment?
Proper body posture means your muscles and joints are not under stress or pressure. Chronic pain in your neck, back, or spinal area can indicate poor body postures. Take it as a warning sign if you also notice yourself frequently hunching or slouching without realizing it.
Here are some things to consider when diagnosing your posture:
The Way You Walk
You are slouching your neck while walking is a sign of improper posture. Twisting or swaying of hips is another sign of bad posture while walking. If you have a terrible walking posture, you can try walking while swinging your arms, similar to marching. This will encourage proper posture and prevent swaying hips or a slouched neck.
Check Your Q-Angle
If you want to check the alignment of your knees, you need to check your Q-angle. ‘Q-angle’ is an abbreviation for the quadriceps angle. Quadriceps are thigh muscles that connect your hip to your knee.
To calculate your Q-angle, you will need to measure the angle between your quadriceps muscle and your knee tendon. A large angle between them can cause knee joint issues that might ruin your posture.
Q-angle measurement requires a goniometer and a working knowledge of it. You should visit a physiotherapist or doctor to have your Q-angle measured. The normal Q-angle for men is between 13° to 14°, while for females, it is between 17° to 18°.
Check Your Pelvis
Ideally, your pelvis should stay neutral no matter what you do in your daily life. The neutral position of the pelvis should not change with walking, running, standing, or standing.
The natural posture of the pelvis looks like the letter ‘S’. There is a medical condition called anterior pelvic tilt in which the pelvis is rotated forward, causing your back to curve. You can perform the Thomas test to check whether you have this condition.
For the Thomas test, lay down on a bench or bed with your legs. Raise one leg and try to pull it towards your body. If the other leg also lifts or curves upwards in response to pulling one leg, you have anterior pelvic tilt.
Check Your Frontal Posture
If you have a problem with your frontal posture, your neck will be extended in front of your shoulders. This improper posture is evident as your head will be developed in front of your body.
To check your frontal posture, stand with your back against a wall. You need to touch the back of your head with the wall. Your frontal posture is incorrect if your head doesn’t touch the wall naturally.
Check Your Lateral Posture
Lateral posture is used to detect lateral pelvic tilt. In medical terms, lateral means sideways. Like anterior pelvic tilt, your pelvis is rotated to one side in a lateral pelvic tilt. People with lateral pelvic tilt commonly appear to be leaning to one side.
Lateral pelvic tilt can cause back and hip pain. You might also struggle to walk stably or without leaning if you have lateral pelvic tilt.
To check your lateral posture, stand straight in front of a mirror without shoes on. You can place your hands on the pelvic area and feel for your pelvic bone. If both sides of your pelvic bone seem at the same height, you don’t have a lateral pelvic tilt.
How to Check Posture against Wall
The wall posture test is one of the most accessible tests for your posture alignment. To start, lean against a wall with your feet some distance from the wall, roughly 6-10 cm at most. Try to do a wall angel while keeping your back, head, shoulders, hips, and elbows connected to the wall.
This test aims to keep your body as flat as you can against the wall. When you achieve the best-balanced posture, you should maintain it for as long as possible. Doing this will help develop muscle memory to hold this posture on the go.
How do I fix my posture imbalance?
You are doing wall angels are a great way to correct most posture problems. Apart from posture alignment exercises, you should constantly mind your posture throughout the day and try to eliminate any bad posture habits.
How long does it take to realign posture?
You can correct bad posture in one or two months of continuous practice of good posture. The time may vary depending on your fitness level, posture improperness, and exercise consistency.
Does standing against a wall help posture?
Yes, it helps improve hunched backs and slouching necks. Holding the wall angel can help strengthen your neck muscles. It also supports maintaining good head-shoulder alignment.