Poor posture is the primary cause of back and neck pain. If you experience pain in your back and neck, fixing your posture is a must. Then, how long does it take to correct your posture?
Breaking the habit of bad posture takes time. This comprehensive guide answers how long it takes to fix your posture with a brace. Moreover, we will discuss the factors that influence posture. Furthermore, you will learn tips for fixing posture.
4 Factors that Influence Posture
Several factors influence posture. These factors will help you understand why bad posture happens. Here, we discussed the top 4 factors.
Genetics plays a crucial role in influencing posture. For example, adolescent boys develop a pronounced kyphosis in their thoracic spine, and it is called Scheuermann's disease.
In such cases, consulting your healthcare provider is essential for optimal treatment and management.
2. Muscle Strength and Flexibility
Your posture can be affected by uneven muscle strength and inflexibility. In the March 2018 edition of Scoliosis Spinal Disorders, a study highlights the impact of muscle tension, strength, and flexibility on posture. Prolonged or repetitive tasks performed with uneven muscle use can lead to pain.
3. Daily Habits and Activities
Your body may lose good posture when addressing weakness, imbalance between muscle groups and tension.
Your body may use less efficient and alternate posture in these conditions. Your body can still let you move but with compromised alignment.
Sitting at a computer for extended periods and multitasking with various devices can gradually misalign your body.
When such a thing happens constantly, the spine's natural alignment gets compromised, contributing to bad posture over time.
Is Bad Posture Permanent?
Happily, bad posture is not permanent and can be improved with consistent effort.
Here are a few tips:
- Strengthening and stretching specific muscle groups
- Incorporating activities like yoga
- Seeking guidance from a chiropractor or physical therapist
The right exercises and a tailored program can help you eliminate lousy posture habits formed over the years.
Moreover, focusing on stretching and strengthening muscle groups that affect good posture is crucial.
Saloni Doshi, a Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital physical therapist suggests that "fixing bad posture often involves adjusting your activities and building muscle strength."
However, most people think that "bad posture" and "spinal shape" are the same. Spinal shape is a disease called Scoliosis. While anybody can have good posture and bad posture. And the most important thing is that bad posture is reversible.
Overall, the message is clear: following the right actions, dedication, and with professional help, you can improve bad posture.
How Long Does It Take to Fix Your Posture?
As mentioned earlier, bad posture is a habit that forms over years of repeated posture. Correcting your posture needs time and can't be done overnight.
New muscle memory takes time and perseverance. If you want long-term health benefits, patience is a must.
Dr. Danny A. McLane states, "The duration to achieve and maintain adjustment can exceed 2 years. It depends on factors like your initial posture, lifestyle, and the effectiveness of home care and chiropractic interventions."
You may start seeing noticeable results within a few months to half a year by ensuring the following
- Practicing good sitting posture
- Incorporating regular stretches
- Engaging in core-strengthening exercises
Remember, posture correction is a continuous journey, and individual responses vary.
Can You Correct Years of Bad Posture?
Yes, correcting years of poor posture is achievable, although it requires dedication and time. Follow the below steps to attain better posture:
1. Practice Awareness: First, identify your posture habits. Then, initiate changes and adjust when you notice improper sitting or standing.
2. Exercise: Strengthening exercises, such as planks, push-ups, rows, target back, core, and shoulder muscles, etc., support good posture. Strong back muscles also reduce spinal pressure, minimizing the risk of pain or posture issues.
3. Stretch: Minimize tension with stretching exercises targeting the neck, shoulders, chest, and back muscles. Ensure practices like yoga or Pilates to improve overall posture.
How Long Does It Take to Correct Your Posture with a Brace?
Poor posture can affect your daily life, influencing everything from sitting habits to maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle.
The muscular imbalance leads to stiffness in some areas and weakness in others. As a result, you may feel discomfort in the neck, lower back, and shoulders.
Posture corrector braces can assist in achieving your posture goals. The duration of wear varies based on individual conditions. Generally, you will need to use the brace for 15-20 minutes daily to help bring your posture back to a natural position.
6 Tips for Fixing Postures
Fixing lousy posture is straightforward with a few tips. Mindful awareness, regular stretching and strengthening, an ergonomic workplace and good sitting habits are the keys to correcting posture.
1. Mindful Awareness
Actively monitor your posture throughout the day. Stay mindful of your sitting, good standing, and movement habits. Consistently check in with yourself to ensure you are preserving proper alignment.
Synchronize the same mindfulness from yoga or meditation into your work routine. Feel the grounding pressure of your feet. Also, notice how it lengthens your spine. Relax your jaw, let your shoulders drop, and deepen your breath.
This practice isn't about enforcing posture rules like engaging your core or pulling your shoulders back. Instead, it's a playful exploration of mindful body awareness, aiming for comfortable and strain-free sitting.
2. Ergonomic Workspace
Maintaining a hunched position during extended periods can impact your posture, especially if your job involves prolonged sitting.
This may lead to stiffness, weakness, or imbalance in muscles and joints, contributing to back pain.
To address this:
- Ensure your feet are firmly on the ground.
- Sit with your hips against the seat back, and maintain a 90-degree angle at your knees.
- Align the head and shoulders over the hips.
Investing in proper back support is crucial. Filling the gap between your lower back and the seat promotes the natural curve of the lower back.
Keep shoulders relaxed, rest elbows and arms on the desk or chair, and sit upright. It engages your abdominals slightly for improved posture.
3. Core Muscle Strengthening
Daily strengthening is vital for maintaining proper posture. Weak muscles increase the risk of injury to joints and other tissues, making it challenging to maintain correct posture.
Muscle weakness can occur from injury, immobility, neurological conditions, nerve entrapment, and arthritis.
When engaging in strength exercises, concentrate on key areas, including
- Upper back
Strengthening efforts must result in muscle fatigue without causing pain. Also, it's advisable to schedule rest days between exercises to allow your muscles sufficient recovery time."
4. Regular Stretching
Tight muscles are the primary cause of imbalance. You may feel pain in the muscles, nerve tissues, and joints for this. Moreover, strain injury occurs because of tight muscles.
By doing regular stretching, you are flexing and activating your tight muscles. At the same time, the pain in the tissues and joints will be reduced. Here is a guideline for stretching:
- Step 01: Stabilize your hip while extending your leg for hamstring stretches. Also, keep your heel stationary while leaning forward to stretch the calf.
- Step 02: Ensure your muscles are relaxed while stretching.
- Step 03: Verify your alignment during the stretch.
- Step 04: Hold each stretch for 15 - 30 seconds, repeating two to three times.
- Step 05: Remember to maintain steady breathing throughout the stretching routine.
5. Good Sitting Habits
While seated, maintain a straight back with feet flat on the ground, aiming for level knees and hips. Use a footrest if necessary to achieve this alignment. Support your lower back against the chair with a small rolled-up towel during extended sitting.
Avoid prolonged hunched positions, especially when using a laptop or desktop computer. Periodically stand up and move around to vary your body position.
Does your job involve repetitive tasks like lifting or bending?
In this case, ask your employer about proper training for lifting and carrying heavy, bulky, or awkward objects.
6. Regular Exercise
Exercises to improve your posture can flex your muscles to maintain a neutral spine during activities like sitting, standing, and daily tasks.
NCBI Research indicates that practicing postural exercises three times a week effectively corrects poor posture. Moreover, postural exercises offer additional benefits of relieving shoulder, mid-back, and low-back pain.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How late is too late to fix your posture?
It’s never too late to improve your posture. You can fix your posture anytime you want. Consistency and regularity will help you achieve your goals in no time.
Can bad posture become permanent?
If you don’t address the right alignment at the right time, your poor posture will impact you with permanent damage. So, it’s important to improve your posture as soon as you notice it.
Does bad posture reduce life span?
Yes, a study from 2004 shows that your bad posture can affect your lifespan affecting your mortality rate.
Poor posture, like rounded shoulders or a hunched back, can result in discomfort that impacts daily life. Posture-improving exercises work to strengthen your back and stretch chest muscles. These exercises facilitate the ability to sit and stand with a neutral spine.
Beyond regular exercise, practice good posture during daily activities, such as desk work or phone use, to achieve positive habits. Hopefully, you got the answer to the question of how long does it take to correct your posture by reading the above discussion.