We either end up with spinal problems due to some kind of trauma (car accident, fall) or due to a small, subtle, yet repetitive activity (sitting at a computer, using a laptop on the couch, looking at your phone). Looking at your computer for 5 minutes is not a big deal. Any negative effect on your spine would be quickly negated by a good posture activity. But it you are at a computer for 40-50 hours every week, then get in that same posture when you drive & eat, then stare at your phone for a few more hours… well, it can really add up. It’s really a miracle your posture isn’t worse!
Sometimes, people try to have good posture. They sit up straight and find that it’s uncomfortable, even painful to maintain the right position. If your spine is misaligned or just stuck, you’re not able to get into the right position without pain. Good posture should feel good and bad posture should feel bad. If you feel more comfortable in a twisted or awkward position, chance are you are not in good alignment.
Start small by looking for things in your day that you know are imbalanced. Too much forward, not enough back. Too much right, not enough left, etc. Are your computer monitors up high enough? Are you using multiple screens equally? Are you sitting in a twisted position on the couch each night? Are you sitting in front of a computer all day at work, then on your laptop at night, then off to spin class for even more hunching over?
Without a significant spinal trauma, it’s the imbalances that will cause your posture problem. In addition to doing the right exercises, stretches, and chiropractic care, you’ll need to maintain a watchful eye during your daily activities. It’s not usually a blatant bad posture activity that gets you. It will be something simple. Something small. Something you do for long periods or repetitively that will change the muscles around your spine, then your spine itself. The good news is, doing good activities consistently will have a positive effect as well!
Most people take care of the big, most obvious bad posture-causing issues. They try to have a good chair and sit up straight when they can. They miss the less obvious, but just as dangerous imbalanced activities. If you continue to have the same problem over and over again, chances are you’re doing something that’s causing the issue. The activity will be something you do a lot or you do it for extended periods. Really pay attention for a few days and you’ll find it. Enlist the help of others to watch when you’re doing something with less than an ideal position and they can help you too.