Originally posted on https://www.newworldchiro.com.au/2016/04/13/how-to-correct-sway-back-posture/
I wrote this article to give you as much information as possible about sway back posture, from a chiropractic point of view.
Many people who experience sway back posture may develop tight muscles and stiff joints, especially around the shoulders, spine, pelvis and legs.
Read on to find out more about this common posture problem and how you can begin to address it today.
Did your mum ever tell you to sit up straight and to watch your posture? Guess what she was right!
Good posture is vital to living a healthy and pain free life as your body is in its natural alignment and can function at optimal levels.
You are strongest when your body is aligned with your head directly above your shoulders, your shoulders above your hips and your hips directly above your feet.
However, simply sitting up straight will not give you good posture, especially if you have underlying structural issues, such as sway back posture.
Over time, poor posture (including lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, flat back, sway back, scoliosis and forward head posture), put extra pressure and stress on your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. These degenerative postures cause or contribute to the following health problems:
So, now that we have covered the posture basics, let’s learn more about a very troublesome posture: sway back posture.
You can see in Image 2, above, the second last outline d) sway back posture, a structural representation of sway back posture.
Sway back posture, also called hyperlordosis, is setup by tight hamstring muscles pulling the hips out of alignment, weaker muscles such as the glutes and hip flexors not being able to hold a strong posture, and a forward positioning of your hips/pelvis infront of your centre of gravity.
You can observe sway back posture by looking for the following posture indicators:
These indicators are all visible in Image 3.
Can you relate to any of these or do you see your posture in one of the above images?
As a consequence of your pelvis being pulled forward, your upper body changes position in what’s called a compensatory adaption. Your head, upper back and chest shift away from normal alignment into this new compensatory position, creating a new set of structural problems.
Sway Back: problems associated with tight hamstrings
Sway Back: problems associated with forward head posture
Sway Back: problems associated with a curved upper back
Sway Back: problems associated with sunken chest
I have found that sway back posture is common in runners, ballerinas and people who sit or work in sedentary jobs. It may also appear in older adults due weakening of the gluteal muscles with age.
Having said that, a lot of people are prone to similar posture problems across the board.
In addition, those patients who come into clinic in chronic pain frequently present with sway back posture, or a related poor posture.
To fix your pain, look to your posture. Possible underlying structural issues need to be addressed to correct poor posture. If you’re crooked on the outside chances are you will be crooked on the inside.
Addressing postural problems takes time and there are no quick fixes. This is especially true the longer you have had bad posture.
Consider the following options:
Other Things You Can do to Help:
A sway back posture brace may help train your body to sit up straight. This works in combination with posture exercises that help to strengthen your core, back muscles and shoulder muscles to help your body return to a more normal posture.
At New World Chiro we offer patients a unique traction station, called the Universal Traction System, built specific to help correct bad postures, address muscle imbalances while at the same time training your body to sit up straight. This traction stations works in a similar way to a sway back posture brace.
The system is unique in that is consists of a series of straps, harnesses, pullies and bands that are attached to small weights.
It may benefit those who have severely limited extension or forward head posture, muscle imbalances, as well as anyone who wants to improve their posture.
The principle behind the system is based on chiropractic biophysics: aimed at changing spinal structure while improving postural mechanics, strengthening muscles and reducing pain. You can ask us more about sway back posture braces and traction by contacting us.
It’s never too late to take better care of your spine and body. To book a chiropractic consultation at New World Chiro please phone or email us today.
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