By Dr Stuti Dhingra
Remember when you were growing up and your mom (or your annoying aunt) would always correct you about your posture?
“Stand up straight.”
Well, they were kind of right. Body alignment is important. It affects many aspects of your health. But proper body alignment is more than just good posture. Proper body alignment can help with body mechanics. It helps your body move in a way that is smart, efficient and has less risk of injury. In other words, body alignment will keep your body moving, sitting, standing, working, exercising, and active for a long time. Proper alignment is very important, not only for your back, but for your overall health as well.
Benefits of Proper Body Alignment
1) It helps the major systems in your body work better: digestive system, respiratory system, nervous system, immune system and more.
2) Body Alignment prevents injuries and balances how your muscle groups work.
3) When your body is in alignment, you use less energy for any movement and put less stress on the joints.
4) Prevents wear and tear on joints when you have poor posture
How can you Maintain Good Body Posture
1) Train yourself to recognise Neutral Spine Position
A neutral spine position is when the pelvis, rib cage and skull are aligned on top of each other. Instead of thinking of “standing up straight with your shoulders back” imagine being suspended from a string from the top of your head and all the other parts of the spine are suspended from the same string. When in neutral spine position, all 3 curves of the spine (cervical, thoracic and lumbar) are aligned and in natural balance. When you’re in this position, every movement activates from the core muscles.
2) Visit a Chiropractor
A chiropractor aligns your whole body, by manually correcting the position of your pelvis, hips, the whole spine (correcting its rotations and thoracic hump), the cervical vertebrae (the root cause of cervical spondylitis and strains on neck), shoulders and knees. Chiropractors are manually skilled to correct your biomechanics in just few minutes and make you feel lighter and more efficient.
Healing Hands Physiotherapy and Rejuvenation is my clinic in Faridabad, where I have been aligning many people suffering from various joint problems in just a few sessions.
3) Engage your Core most of the times
Engage your core most of the times in the day and see the resulTS. you will feel your clothes getting looser! Just tuck in your tummy 30 percent while breathing and talking. Imagine it in a way that you’re tucking in your navel just enough that it doesn’t touch your shirt. Doing this throughout the day tones up your tummy.
4) Maintain a Healthy Weight
Excess weight puts additional stress on the joints and muscles. So, the best thing for you to ensure good body alignment, even as you age, is to maintain a healthy body weight. The healthier your body weight, the lesser stress will be felt by your joints and muscles.
Exercise regularly with a program that promotes and builds core stabilisation. Squats, planks, push-ups, lunges with engagement of your abdominals and gluteals can help strengthen your core.
5) Avoid certain Body Positions and Movements
These are certain body positions and movements which you must be conscious about, and try to avoid:
- Having a slumped forward head posture e.g. using the mobile with a flexed neck
- Twisting from the spine to a point of strain
- Reaching for anything too far out from the body
- Bending from the waist to lift things or reach for things.
If you liked this article, and would like to read more articles related to wellness, then do check out our treasure trove on Lifestyle.
Dr Stuti Sunil Dhingra (PT)
Director – Healing Hands Physiotherapy, osteopathy & Chiropractic clinic, Faridabad
DO (Diplomate in Osteopathy, Canada)
DMCT (Diplomate in Masters of Chiropractic, Sweden)