After studying or sitting in class for a long time, it’s common to feel shoulder and back pain due to poor posture.
However, Crystal Wachtel, a soon-to-be doctor at Complete Care Chiropractic, has some solutions and reasoning for this problem.
Poor posture is a common issue because of the way many of our lives are structured, Wachtel said.
“I think it’s very hard for us to keep good posture because our lives are sedentary now,” Wachtel said. “People used to be more active, and now, they are not. People are sitting all day. People are on their phones all day. People’s jobs are at computers a lot.”
When people are having to sit for long periods of time, they tend to lean down, she said. They become used to having their shoulders rolled over and their head looking down.
She cautions about people’s posture when texting, too, because often times, people are straining their neck to text on their phone, and it’s easy to forget correct posture.
Over time, certain muscles become weaker and certain muscles get tighter, she said. Then, tension starts to build in the muscles. All making it harder to get that posture back, Wachtel said.
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“When muscles are tight, they pull on the bone and, vice versa, when a bone is not moving properly it pulls on the muscle,” Wachtel said. “They work together. So, what we do is we will adjust, but also, we will do exercises but then also stretches. The whole teamwork of it all helps the best.”
When people are just sitting in place for a long time, she recommends trying to reset that posture every once in a while, to be aware of that alignment.
“If you’re studying all day, if you’re at your computer all day, I like to, at least every 30 minutes, reset,” she said. “So, re-come up, put your shoulders back.”
Proper posture is for one’s ear to be over their shoulder, shoulder in line with their hip, hip in line with their knee and knee in line with their ankle, she said. Overall, remembering to keep their head and shoulders back.
She also said if someone is in a place where they can, try to get up and just move around a little so that people aren’t keeping static for long periods of time.
But remembering to have good posture is more than just resetting and movement, Wachtel said.
“It’s a combination,” she said. “It’s stretching. It’s strengthening. It’s movement.”
It’s a long-term correction process involving not just stretching or loosening the muscles, but also correcting those muscles with exercises and working on readjusting, she said.
“If you have that tension in your shoulders, which a bunch of people have, tension in their neck, it’s causing stress on your body,” Wachtel said. “Even just making sure you maintain it, but really, you have to get those muscles stretched that are tight in tension and those muscles that are weak, stronger — in order to get that posture back, that curve back.”
There are exercises taught at chiropractic centers that can be done at home that help further with aiding in getting better posture, she said.
“When you get so hunched over, your brain thinks that’s normal,” Wachtel said. “It’s just retraining it.”
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