Practice Proper Posture and Avoid These Common Mistakes

During your daily routine it should be important to practice proper posture. Many of us have stressful 9-5 jobs where we’re not aware that everyday tasks such as typing, lifting heavy items, or staring at a screen can impact our posture and overall health. In this guide, we’ve compiled a few tips and ways to reduce “tech neck,” avoid carpal tunnel syndrome and focus on other activities of daily living.  

How to Recognize and Avoid “Tech Neck”

Certain repetitive motions can have a huge impact on your posture. As a result, incorrect posture or sustained pain in certain areas of the body can lead to dependency for assistance. For example, as you get older, you might potentially need help with activities of daily living such as dressing, eating, and even bathing due to deteriorating posture and chronic pain. If symptoms are not addressed earlier on, your posture can worsen over time and lead to more problems such as limited mobility and stiffness.

If you constantly stare down at your smartphone to text, you might suffer from something known as ‘tech neck.’ This phrase refers to pain in the neck caused by texting, hunching your neck, or straining other parts of your body with repetitive movements. Tech neck can cause strain and pain to your neck and also affect your everyday posture.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome 

Another reason to practice proper posture is to help avoid thoracic outlet syndrome. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, some of the most common symptoms of thoracic outlet syndrome include tingling or discomfort in the fingers, pain or weakness in the shoulder, arm fatigue, and more. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, thoracic outlet syndrome is when individuals experience pain or a sense of tingliness in the body due to the compression of the nerves and blood vessels due to pressure in the neck. Additionally, there are three different types of TOS according to the National Organization for Rare Disorders:

  • Neurogenic TOS
  • Venous TOS
  • Arterial TOS

The most common type of TOS is Neurogenic TOS, which focuses on nerve compression. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, 95% of TOS individuals have this type of syndrome. This can also be caused by whiplash or repetitive movements such as typing or other injuries.

Depending on the severity of your thoracic outlet syndrome diagnosis, you may need to get treatment in the form of physical therapy, surgery, or a visit to the chiropractor’s office for an evaluation.  If you’re wary about going the surgery route, you might want to consider chiropractic treatment. Chiropractors can help address thoracic outlet syndrome by providing proper adjustments and working to decompress nerves and release compressed blood vessels.

Tips on Maintaining Good Posture 

Now that we’ve talked about some of the issues due to poor posture and repetitive movements, it’s time to look into ways to remedy the situation. As with anything, maintaining good posture takes practice and discipline. Here are a few tips on how to maintain good posture:

1.Take breaks

If you’re typing for several hours or doing other repetitive work tasks, it’s a good idea to get up and stretch every 20 minutes or so. Doing so can prevent carpal tunnel syndrome or chronic neck and back pain.

2. Download a posture app

If you’re suffering from tech neck, then you might want to download a posture app. There are plenty of mobile and desktop apps to help you stay aligned and in the correct form. We’d recommend MacBreakZ and UPRIGHT.

3. Accountability buddy

Sometimes it helps to have an accountability buddy or a close friend who can remind you when you’re slouching or spending too much time hunching over that smartphone or laptop. You can return the favor by helping them practice good form as well!