Maintaining a correct posture does not only benefit the back and the spine, neither can a good posture be reduced to a simple factor of elegance. A recessed chest, a curved back, but also the incorrect support of the foot while walking or the habit of overlapping the same leg are often involuntary and ‘spoiled’ attitudes that bring consequences on our entire body.
In an interview Dr. Lara Castagnetti, specialist in orthopedic rehabilitation and osteopathy at the Humanitas Check-Up Outpatient Clinics, spoke about the posture and the psychophysical well-being of the body.
Causes and consequences of incorrect posture
The consequences of a poor posture may include muscle stiffness, headaches and an imperceptible but poor functioning of the internal organs: for example, compressing the abdomen and intestines risks constipation or gastroesophageal reflux, as well as respiratory problems. Similarly, a pelvis that does not have a proper line may cause problems with the urinary or gynaecological system, while people suffering from cervical pain and tension also complain of tinnitus or dizziness.
“Physical traumas can also affect posture – explained Dr. Lara Castagnetti – from the slightest ones such as sprains to the most serious ones such as dislocations or fractures: such events can leave traumas and pain, even after some time, causing an alteration of the balance along the chain of joints”.
The expert’s advice
Generally, the habit of bending over begins in childhood, when children stand still for hours at the school desk, in front of the television or using electronic games, and then continues into adulthood because of an increasingly sedentary life, which often sees us motionless in front of the computer, at the office desk, in the car or on public transport,” said Castagnetti.
The first step to countering this bad habit is physical activity: “Normally, you try to identify a physical activity suitable for recovery. For example, a patient who tends to bend forward is advised to take a sport that strengthens the muscles of the back, the one between the shoulder blades, like rowing. To this we can add a rehabilitation program, which generally consists of both a postural rehabilitation plan in which techniques and exercises capable of restoring a condition of balance are taught, and manual treatments, such as vertebral manipulations and osteopathic treatments”. In the most risky cases, which risk compromising the spine and its stability, we also intervene with specific aids – used only on indications and under the supervision of the doctor – such as orthopedic insoles or corrective busts, so as to make the posture more harmonious.
When to have a check of your spine and posture with a specialist
“The sooner you start, the better. It would be a good idea to have your child’s spine checked, especially during the years of growth, from 6 to 16 years – clarified the doctor – when the frequent inactivity and the hours spent on tablets, mobile phones and video games can cause misalignments. But the correction can also occur in adulthood, because there are no limits to intervention. It’s essential to try to observe your posture. “Even if you don’t find any anomalies, you have to be careful to maintain the correct postures and correct yourself throughout the day.
When sitting, it is important to rest your back, your feet must be on the ground and your knees must form a right angle.