We often receive the question, 'what is good posture'. There is definitely a bit of a debate about it. Last week we looked at the forward head position commonly today is known as 'tech neck'.
Today we will work our way down the spine to the upper and midback, known as the thoracic area of the spine. A common cue or directive you may have been given from a young age is to sit or stand up straight. This may have included 'lift your chest', 'pull your shoulder down and back.'
These directions were well-meaning. No one wanted you to look like a slouch or develop a hump in your back. The fact is, that often with repeated use of these cues over time we can start to change the natural posture of our spine. If you look at the picture of the spine below the spine has gentle curves throughout. The curve in the upper and middle back actually sways back creating what is called a kyphosis versus the low back which curves the opposite way into a lordosis or lordotic curve.
The kyphotic curve of the upper back is shaped this way in correlation with our shoulder blades so they can stack on our rib cage similar to stacking plates. When we change the shape through repeated lifting of the chest it starts to flatten the curve of the spine and pull the rib cage away from the shoulder blades. We will discuss this in the future.
The diaphragm muscle which is the primary muscle for breathing attaches to our spine in the thoracic area. When we start changing the shape of our spine we can have a direct effect on the efficiency in which this muscle works.
Check out the video below that talks about common cues for the midback and reviews an easy exercise you can do for both the forward head posture and the upper/mid back area.
Click below to watch the video.
Posture can be hard to figure out and takes time and honest effort to make lasting changes. The benefit are well worth the effort. From decreased muscle tightness to improved breathing efficiency.
Have questions? Need some help? Reach out today.
Chicago Integrative Movement Specialists
Your Body. Your Move.