Do you remember when your parents would tell you to sit up straight? In this computer, iPhone, Blackberry generation, we often fall into postural habits such as slouching and head forward posture resulting in our bodies taking the shape of a foetus. So what happens to our muscles, ligaments, and internal organs? The muscles along the back are placed in a sustained stretched contraction while the anterior muscles are placed in a sustained shorten contraction and compress onto themselves. Here are the postural habits we may fall into: rounded shoulders with an inability to hold the shoulders back, flattened lower back, rounded mid back (which may increase head forward posture), sitting on the tailbone as opposed to sitting on your ischial tuberosities (sits bones). Problems Associated with Bad Posture
These habitual postures may lead to tension headaches (usually worse as the day progresses), trigger points in muscles, and/or fatigue. With the front part of the body collapsed we will usually breathe from the upper part of our lungs without engaging the diaphragm. Back, neck and shoulder pain may be present along with overuse and underuse injuries. We may develop tendinopathies such as carpal tunnel, tennis and/or golfers elbow and perhaps neurological symptoms such as numbness and weakness in arms and or hands.
How can Massage Therapy Help
A registered massage therapist (RMT) will assess the length and strength of muscles, and use various techniques to decrease the signs and symptoms of poor posture. Massage therapy can decrease muscle tension, alleviate trigger points that cause tension headaches and other pain patterns, bring awareness to habitual postures of muscles and will help facilitate remedial exercises. RMTs treat tendinopathies to decrease pain, facilitate muscle and tendon function, to help you be painfree. Massage therapy helps the mind to reconnect to the muscles in order for the body to recreate pathways through remedial exercises, to correct poor posture.