Arif often gets asked by patients how they can improve their posture. He has made a short video, ably assisted by Susan, to demonstrate a very simple exercise you can do at work, at home or anywhere you like which will help you straighten up and improve your posture. Do this exercise 3 times a day and you’ll soon be on the way to a straighter taller you.
If you have a therapy band then use this to do this exercise or you can use an old pair of tights. However, don’t worry if you have neither, you can do it with just your arms, making sure you clench and squeeze the muscles between your shoulder blades whilst staying upright.
When doing the is exercise stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips apart – thinking of the shape of the Eiffel Tower will help.
Pull your chin into your Adams apple while still looking straight ahead.
Bend both elbows to 90 degrees. Keep your elbows tucked into your sides and gentle try and stretch your hands outwards to 90 degrees as far as you can and bring your hands slowly inwards.
Repeat about 5 times.
This exercise will help to strengthen your upper back and by keeping your chin into your chest it will strengthen the deep flexors in your neck.
If you want a straighter taller you then do this exercise 3 times a day and let us know how you get on.
As a family chiropractic clinic, we are immensely proud of our reputation for providing chiropractic treatment to children. With the knowledge that’s available now, our children have a real chance of living their entire lives without the burden of back pain; that’s why it’s so important for good habits to start early.
Arif, one of our leading chiropractors at our Southend clinic, is a Fellow of the International Chiropractic Paediatric Association and has been a Certified Chiropractic Paediatric Practitioner for fourteen years.He has created the following top tips on encouraging a major healthy habit in children – developing and maintaining good posture:
1: Be a Good Example
Demonstrating good posture is the best way to encourage your children to do the same. Be mindful about how you’re sitting and standing – especially in front of your little ones.
2: Use Positive Reinforcement
Instead of simply telling your child to “sit up straight” when they’re slouching, give them motivating reasons to improve their posture. Tell your child that they look more grown up or taller when they sit up straight, for example. This praise will help your child to want to engage in such positive behaviour.
3: Use Visuals
Young children learn incredibly well through visuals, so try using images to teach your child about good posture. Other creative outlets such as making up a song or putting on a short play can also be really effective in helping your child to develop healthy posture habits.
4: Play Posture-Boosting Games
There are many games you can play with your child to encourage good posture. The more creative you are the more fun your child will have and the more likely they will be to maintain new positive habits.
“My Fair Lady” is a timeless classic where your child has to walk across the room carrying a book on their head without it falling off. By playing this game, your child will learn how to position their head and neck in the correct way for good posture. Why not join in with the fun and set up a points system where the player who carries the book on their head for the longest amount of time wins a small prize? Your child will think you’re great fun and you’ll probably improve your own posture in the process!
5: Get cycling
Take your children for bike rides regularly. Sitting and balancing on a bike can result in improved posture.
Poor posture is a major cause of back pain. Don’t let your children pick up the bad habits of our generation. By working together, we can give them the chance of reaping the benefits of a lifelong healthy spine.
We advise all parents to promote good posture in their children; and this can begin from before a child is even sitting up.
Parents are naturally excited to see their children reach new developmental milestones, but according to our experienced chiropractor in Southend, encouraging our children to do things too soon can have negative consequences.
One of the most common mistakes for developing a baby’s posture is to put the baby in a sitting position when they are not yet strong enough to sit on their own. Many parents place their hand behind their babies to catch them if they fall backwards; assuming that this is the way that babies learn to sit. But, according to our Southend chiropractor, this can cause the baby to sit with a curved spine, with their head hunched forward. This can result in the muscles becoming overworked and stiff, and can potentially cause a delay in motor skill development.
Our Southend chiropractor warns that while all parents are eager to see their children reach new milestones, we should not rush our babies to sit, stand or walk. Instead, we should provide the baby with plenty of floor time; working together for a few minutes a day to guide their learning processes.
Many babies and toddlers don’t lay on their tummies to play; and this activity is vitally important for developing the extensor muscles in the back to build postural control. There are a variety of fun activities that children can undertake in the belly down position such as doing puzzles, playing with wind-up toys and enjoying arts and crafts and games. Our Southend chiropractor recommends water play for toddlers, who may be less interesting in sitting still after discovering the excitement of walking, running and climbing! A good idea is to fill the bathtub with a small amount of water and let your toddler lay on their belly whilst scribbling on the side of the bath with bath crayons (they easily wash off!). Other bath toys such as water funnels, boats and toy ducks are fun ways to encourage your little one to enjoy playing in the belly-down position.
Our experienced chiropractor in Southend advises that the ideal position is to lay your baby/toddler flat on their tummy, propped up through the shoulders with the stabilising hand supporting their body weight while the other arm is used to play.
To book an appointment with our dedicated team of chiropractors, contact Cliffs Chiropractor Southend on 01702 430430.