A tight chest is a big culprit in bad posture - the tighter it gets, the more our shoulders round forward. This is because the smaller postural muscles in our backs have difficulty competing with the bigger, tighter pectoral muscles in our chest. Poor posture develops gradually, so you may notice symptoms such as low back pain or neck tightness before your shoulders actually begin to hunch over. So strengthen those back and core muscles (e.g. plank hold, side plank, back extensions), stretch your chest (in a doorframe, massaging with a foam roller), and become aware of what proper posture should actually look like throughout each day (see bottom image). As the chest becomes more flexible and the back muscles become stronger, your shoulders will naturally pull back. Don't forget - with your shoulders should come your head. A naturally retracted neck will help improve posture greatly, so avoid the tendency to let your chin hang forward over your chest. Training your head to sit further back on your shoulders will also improve chronic neck pain.
Come see us today at Bayview Chiropractic Health Centre to find out how we can help you improve your posture, and reduce pain and discomfort caused by chronic muscle imbalances.
Muscles, testing and functions / Florence Peterson Kendall...[et al.] 5th ed.