Posture pole exercises

A great new years resolution for 2020 is to try to improve your posture!

More and more people are presenting to Chiropractic clinics, suffering neck pain due to chronic postural issues such as: spending too long sitting in front of a computer, excessive viewing of television, carrying your baby around and/or excessive mobile phone use.

Such habits can be the start of serious postural problems and structural issues later in life. See the diagram below:

(5 phases of neck curvature: 1, represents complete reversal of cervical lordosis, placing maximum pressure on the neck. 3, straightening of cervical lordosis, causing forward head carriage. 5, optimal cervical lordosis, least amount of pressure on neck)

The first step is awareness, the next step is looking for a solution. Most people buy a shoulder brace online, to hold their shoulders back, but these don’t work if you have a forward head position.

Shoulder braces don’t work on someone with a forward head position! They just make your head feel heavier. You need to strengthen and LENGTHEN the muscles of your neck and shoulders.

Introducing the concept of a POSTURE POLE (and half foam roller)

Find this half foam roller from $32 with free delivery on eBay

What is a half-foam roller used for?
Purpose: The purpose of the foam roller is to improve your posture and reduce tension in the neck, jaw, shoulders and lower back.
Who can use this: almost everyone. With regular use, doing simple stretches on the roller may help realign spinal joints, re-fresh muscles and ease the tension of a ‘forward head posture’ the common postural dysfunction.
The ‘posture pole’ is an Australian designed product, using a foam roller, which when implemented properly can be used to improve the structural alignment of your spine, therefore improving your posture. It is illustrated below.

How does one use the posture pole? With an in-built texture pad at the top to rest your head on, lie vertically along the pole with your hip and knees bent in a sit-up position and both arms resting by your side with palms facing the ceiling. Simply lie in this resting position for 5-10mins (or as prescribed by your health practitioner) to achieve desired results. See below for an in-depth review.

Pro’s
  • Light-weight and easily storable
  • More gentle than typical foam rollers
  • Ability to perform intermediate and advanced core exercises while using the posture pole
  • Assists with relieving postural stress
  • Lengthens and straightens the spine
  • Reduces muscle tension and spasm
  • Promotes deep breathing by opening the chest
  • Enhances relaxation
  • Durable, made with long-lasting material
Con’s
  • Cannot be used to specifically target tight muscles/fascia like a foam roller
  • Not recommended during acute traumatic injuries
Review

Since using the posture pole “I am not as tense in my shoulders and upper back.. I feel better.. I can breathe better.. I feel more relaxed”.

Watch this video to see how Today Tonight tests the Posture Pole.

Seeing a Chiropractor for an assessment and realignment will help too.

 

Doing the below exercises at home will ease pain and increase mobility in your neck and shoulders.

Starting position:
  • Sit down on the posture pole so it is lined up the full length of your back
  • Gently lay along the pole so that your head is fully supported
  • Tuck your chin into a neutral position
  • Let your shoulders relax and your palms face upward

Level 1: Postural stretch

  • Relax for 5-10m, repeat 1-2 times daily

Level 2: Legs up

  • Gently raise one foot so your lower leg is horizontal
  • Hold for 20 sec while remaining still
  • Repeat 3x for each leg

Some good books to help you with postural exercises:

Posture Workbook : Free Yourself From Back, Neck And Shoulder Pain With The Alexander Technique

Carolyn Nicholls is the founder and Head of Training at the Brighton Alexander Technique College, UK and a national advisor on clinical trials on back pain.