This article is a transcribed edited summary of a video Bob and Brad recorded in December of 2021. For the original video go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PjElgjTtnc&t=29s
Bob: Today, Brad, we’re going to be talking about seven alarming ways bad posture is ruining your health and success. Plus, a simple fix is going to be shown.
Brad: Right, Bob, I really wanted to do this. We both have a passion for posture and literally there are seven things that can drastically affect your life, your appearance, your body, your health, your orthopedic issues. All those things. We’re going to get to it.
Bob: It’s a little bit shocking. You can start having pain to the point where you can’t even function.
Brad: Right. It can lead to a surgery. Okay, posture. Let’s go to the first reason why posture gives you so many problems. It has to do with your neck. When you have poor posture, your head goes forward, puts a great deal of stress, particularly on the low neck or the upper cervical vertebra causing headaches, a disc can actually herniate or rupture, cause a pinched nerve. So we really need to take care of our necks with our posture.
Bob: For every inch you go forward, it’s another 10 pounds of stress on your neck.
Bob: Number two is the shoulder. People don’t realize that poor posture affects your shoulder. Look at me here. I’m going to have poor posture and I’m going to try to raise my shoulder up. Look how far I go, that’s it. I can’t go any higher. Now, I’m going to sit with good posture. Whoa. I can raise my arm all the way up.
Bob: If it’s down like this, that means it’s pinching. It’s giving impingement, it’s causing pain. So, if you’re at the computer and hunching forward, you’re causing pain and problems and impingement.
Brad: They say 70% of shoulder pain is from an impingement problem. So, we need to work on that posture.
Bob: It’s not a minor thing.
Brad: Number three, how you can breathe as incredibly affected by your posture. I’m leaned forward and slouched forward, it takes your visceral organs, your abdominal content pushes that into your diaphragm, which limits your volume of breathing. Also, your rib cage is not able to expand as it would like to as when you’re sitting straight up and then you can breathe and take in a lot more volume which is going to give you more energy. It will make a big difference in your life.
Bob: It’s the problem with ankylosing spondylitis, Brad, everything starts tightening up and they have trouble with breathing.
Bob: I thought I’d throw it in there.
Brad: I’m glad you did.
Bob: Next one, back. You can start, if your back, you’re holding it in a flex position most of the day, like you sit or lift or carry things with a bent posture, you start to develop a disc problem. That puts pressure on the disc, and it can push out the back and it can push on a nerve. It can give you sciatica. It’s probably the number one cause of sciatica.
Brad: Poor seated posture or biomechanics. Right. The next one, this is huge. It has nothing to do with pain and as far as being sick. It has a lot to do with your appearance. You look so much better when you’re up, tall posture. If you go to a job interview and you walk in slouched, you’re not going to get the job unless everyone else looks like that. Well then, they’re going to look for someone else, but appearance is an incredible amount of what people think of you, what you think of yourself.
Bob: I think it also makes you look older. If I see someone and they’re slouched over, like an older man or woman, they look that much older. But if they come along and they have good posture I think, Oh, they must be younger.
Brad: Right. Head up, shoulders back. You’re going to get the job. They’re going to look younger. All good stuff.
Bob: The next thing is, people don’t understand this, but believe it or not, if your head is forward, it affects your jaw. The way you can chew. Just try to put your head way forward and try to swallow.
Bob: It’s hard to do. So, one of the things that when I went to TMJ courses, the temporal mandibular joint, that’s the jaw joint, you teach the person you work on posture is the first thing you do to try to help take away jaw pain because poor posture will lead to poor arthrokinematics.
Brad: Yeah, the mechanics of the joint. If you think about it, if you ever try to swallow, you always bring your head back. You straighten up a little bit. Things go down easier. As opposed to going through a zig-zaggy esophagus. We should be speech therapists. Your daughter, she could probably show us. She's a Speech Language Pathologist.
Bob: She could fill us in on that.
Brad: That’s right. Next one, should we talk about dowagers hunchback? That hunch back.
Bob: You get that big bump at the bottom of your neck or in the middle of your back. Both are very unattractive, I’m sorry to say.
Brad: And painful. They can relate to a lot of painful changes.
Bob: And that’s from posture. I mean, people think that it just grew on its own, but no, that’s because of poor posture.
Brad: There could be some genetics involved, but one way or another, there’s the seven things that are affecting or could affect your life just by poor posture. So, we’re going to show you some ways to correct it now. Should we go to the first one?
Brad: Alright, seated posture. Which is a big part of the problems, especially at the computer, the workstation or in the car.
Bob: One of the keys to this is that you do it throughout the day. Don’t do it once and think you'll have good posture. You must fight it constantly.
Brad: So, up, and back. I like this one from Bob. It reminds me of when you say, “Hallelujah.” You don’t have to say that, in my head I say that. Well, at home maybe, by myself. But you bring your arms up, it’s kind of like the W’s stretch. W for Wisconsin, not for Minnesota. It’s a personal inside joke.
Bob: You can bring it all the way overhead too. You are going to be doing the W’s too, right?
Brad: Oh, yes.
Bob: So, just put the arms straight up.
Brad: W’s, and if you have a chair, you can lean back because it doesn’t go too high. Just go right back over the edge of it. Breathe in and exhale. You’ll notice when you do this, you can clearly get more oxygen, more air into those lungs.
Bob: This little trick here, developed by Mike, one of our crew members.
Brad: Right, he’s a physical therapist assistant. He came up with this idea and we’ve been using it for years with our patients as well as each other. You take the ball, get it behind your back. It must be a soft ball, not like a basketball.
Bob: We’re using a kickball.
Brad: Yeah, we took it from the neighbors kids. Just kidding. They gave it to us.
Bob: After we took their candy.
Brad: Yeah. Anyways, stretch back.
Bob: The thing that is nice about the ball is you can put it in different spots of the back. Honestly, if you work at a desk, you should have one of these balls, just go to the big box store and get a ball. You are going to find out that this alone, not only reminds you to do it, but it can hit all spots in your back. It just works well.
Brad: I can tell right now I’m a little lower and that feels like that’s what needs it a little bit more.
Bob: He’s stretching the chest muscles so he can open the breathing up and can solve that problem of not being able to breathe well.
Brad: All right, good. What’s the next one?
Bob: Wall angels. Do you want to do chin tucks since you’re down there, Brad?
Brad: Yeah. You can do this one while you’re driving, while you’re sitting. To do the chin tucks, you need to have good posture first.
Bob: You don’t want to slouch for the chin tucks.
Brad: I was doing these once at a red light in my car to pick up my posture, “let me do some chin tucks.” The person in the car over looks at me “what the heck is he doing?” “I’m doing chin tucks, what do you think?” It was kind of funny. I was laughing inside. Next one.
Bob: The final one is wall angels.
Brad: I think you came up with this one, Bob.
Bob: Oh no, this has been around for years.
Brad: It has? Oh, I can’t remember. Use the wall, lean up against the wall, put your butt up against the wall, your shoulders, bring your shoulders back and then do the W again. Now, if you’re tight, you will not be able to get your arms up against the wall yet, but don’t worry, you can do them away from the wall.
Bob: That’s where he’s doing the wall angel. He’s making the wings.
Bob: You can see any progress by how close to the wall you are.
Brad: How close you are and how high you can get.
Bob: Even with your head. You want to see if you can get your head back.
Brad: Some people can’t touch their head to the wall.
Bob: A lot of people can’t.
Brad: If you tilt your head back, that’s cheating. We want to tuck your chin back. I’m thinking this is going to be a little project, right? When I’m painting next at our house, when the wall is all wet, I’m going to go up against the wall and I’m going to do this and then take a picture of it and use that for show and tell.
Bob: Why don’t you do it when they pour your cement driveway or whatever.
Brad: Another good idea! Excellent. That’s a Haikou. All right, next one.
Bob: That’s it!
Brad: That’s it, that’s all of them! Thanks!
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