In this digital age of high tech TVs, performance computers, iPads and smartphones, the general population is starting to slouch more…and more…and more!
Here’s how to identify your problem and what sort of things you can do to fix it!
See it – Have someone use your smartphone to take a photo of you standing sideways. If you notice that your upper back is excessively curved (more than 40-45 degrees) as in the photo to the right, you have a bad hunchback posture. If you are somewhere in between the left and right picture, you need to start working on it now!
Typical cause – Sitting especially for long durations with bad posture. For example at an office doing computer work, studying at a desk, prolonged gaming in front of a monitor, smartphone use on the train.
What’s happening – Sitting hunched over say a computer screen causes chest muscles to gradually tighten, which can cause excessive curvature (kyphosis) of the upper back (thoracic spine). At the same time, postural muscles in the upper back weaken and loosen. A muscle imbalance occurs between your anterior and posterior musculature. For some people this can result in chronic neck, upper back and/or shoulder pains.
Solution – Relieve chest tightness with myofascial release techniques using a massage ball, tennis or lacrosse ball) and stretching, while strengthening the upper back postural muscles. Also, you need to work on mobilizing the upper (thoracic) spine with a foam roller.