Posture Disorder (slouch) – Can’t sit up straight without back hurting

Posture Disorder – FROM tuberosity is the colloquial name for such a phenomenon as hyperkyphosis of the thoracic spine. But first things first. Let’s start with the definition of posture, which will bring us closer to understanding the essence of the problem. Posture is the ratio of the physiological curves of the spine.

What are these bends:

  • Cervical lordosis – bending of the cervical spine with a bulge forward
  • Thoracic kyphosis – bending of the thoracic spine with a bulge back
  • Lumbar lordosis – bending of the lumbar spine with a bulge forward
  • Sacral kyphosis – bending of the sacral spine with a bulge back

The definition “physiological” means that the curves are natural, normal. Together, kyphosis and lordosis perform the following functions:

  • depreciation
  • maintaining balance while walking

Along with normal physiological curves, we can see deviations from the norm. To determine the deviation from the norm, the plumb line method is used. The subject is standing straight, in a position familiar to him.

The researcher takes a plumb line and sets it at the same level with the external auditory canal of the investigated person (away from the ear, beyond the shoulder, in order to avoid contact with it), the free edge of the plumb line hangs down. The ideal picture is as follows: going down, the plumb line passes through the middle of the shoulder joint (humerus), then through the greater trochanter of the femur, then through the outer ankle of the ankle joint. If the plumb line shifts to one of the sides (relative to the indicated points), we can talk about a violation of posture.

posture disorders

It is important to understand that each person has unique characteristics, including posture. These features can be caused by ethnicity, sports and other factors and at the same time not provoke negative consequences in the form of pain in the musculoskeletal system or internal organs. In this case, we are not talking about a violation of posture. If negative consequences occur, it makes sense to start working on posture correction as early as possible.

To determine the type of posture disorder, the Staffel classification is traditionally used :

types of posture disorders
  • “Normal posture”, according to Staffel, is characterized by a conditionally normal ratio of kyphosis and lordosis.
  • The “round back” is characterized by the presence of hyperkyphosis of the thoracic spine along with normal lumbar lordosis.
  • “Flat back” is characterized by smoothed kyphosis of the thoracic spine and lordosis of the lumbar spine.
  • The “ flattened back” is a flattened kyphosis of the thoracic spine and hyperlordosis of the lumbar spine.

In addition, the reasons for any changes in posture can be:

  1. Structural – changes in the osteoarticular apparatus of the spine.
  2. Functional – incorrect distribution of muscle tone.

Returning to the topic of our article about hyperkyphosis, we can also talk about one of its two causes: structural (there are changes in the skeleton), when, for example, Shaerman-Mau disease is diagnosed ( -sheyermanna / viewer); and functional (muscle imbalance is observed). How can we diagnose these types of posture changes?

Three informative tests can be used :

  1. Extension test

It is necessary to put the investigated person vertically (feet at the width of the pelvis) and ask them to collect their hands in a lock at the back of the head, then bend over, leading the elbows back. The researcher at this time analyzes, due to which the extension of the thoracic spine occurs. If the subject does the extension of the spine due to the deflection in the lumbar spine, it is highly likely that he has structural changes in the thoracic spine. A person with normal posture or even functional kyphosis will be able to straighten well or slightly in the thoracic region, leading the elbows back.


2. Flexion test


kyphosis test



The researcher asks the subject to lean forward from a standing position and analyzes what happens to the subject’s thoracic region. In a person with normal posture, slight rounding in the thoracic region is allowed during flexion; in a person with structural changes in the thoracic spine, for example, with Shaerman-Mau disease, there will be a pronounced rounding, or hump, in the thoracic region.


3. Matthias test


stoop test

The test is performed in an upright position. You need to ask the subject to raise his hands in front of him at shoulder level and hold this position for more than 30 s. The researcher observes what happens to the posture of the researcher after this time. If, while holding the hands in this position, the subject’s posture has not changed significantly (let us assume a slight backward tilt of the torso), then he has a normal posture with good muscle function (Fig. 1, from left to right). If the subject maintains a normal posture for 30 seconds, but then his thoracic kyphosis and lumbar lordosis sharply increase, this indicates rather a functional disorder of posture, about its weakness (Fig. 2). If the subject from the very beginning cannot assume an upright position and leans sharply backward, leading the pelvis forward,

It is important to note that not a single test by itself can give reliable information about the state of posture, and only after a comprehensive examination with the participation of a qualified specialist, an accurate diagnosis can be made. It is possible to obtain reliable information about structural changes in posture (confirming the diagnosis of Shaerman-Mau disease, for example) by passing an X-ray of the spine in an upright position in the sagittal plane. If the structural change in posture is confirmed, professional medical assistance is indispensable.

Can the slouch be corrected?

If posture changes are functional in nature, the prospects for improving it are very optimistic. The reasons for the stoop can be very diverse: there are weak back muscles, especially the interscapular zone; physical activity, in which a large load falls on the pectoral muscles and rectus abdominis muscles; work at a low table; myopia; unbalanced diet; various diseases; heredity; there may also be psychological reasons for slouching when a person “hides his head in his shoulders.”

Signs of slouching

So, the most obvious sign of a stoop is a strong rounding in the thoracic spine, in the interscapular zone, due to which the shoulder blades protrude backward like wings. The shoulders when stooped forward, creating the appearance of a sunken chest. The head, like a drawer from a bedside table, “moves out” forward.

Our tactic for correcting posture against slouching will involve working with the muscles that cause the slouch and with their antagonists:

  • Strengthening the muscles that reduce thoracic kyphosis.
  • Stretching of the muscles that increase the thoracic kyphosis.
  • Strengthening the external rotator muscles of the shoulder.
  • Strengthening the muscles of the neck in retraction.
  1. Muscles that reduce thoracic kyphosis (also known as back muscles that cause stoop) include:
    • muscles of the interscapular zone: rhomboid, small round, middle and lower portions of the trapezoid;
    • extensor muscles of the spine: trapezius, posterior upper dentate, posterior lower dentate, belt head and neck, spinal erector muscles, transverse spinous, intertransverse, interspinous, rib levator muscles, posterior rectus muscles of the head, oblique muscles of the head.
  2. Muscles that enhance thoracic kyphosis include:
    • large and small pectoral muscles.
  3. The external rotator muscles of the shoulder include: infraspinatus, small round, posterior part of the deltoid.
stooped man

Slouching Exercises (Posture Disorder)

Ready-made complex “Yoga from stoop”:

  • Any exercise should begin with joint gymnastics, or Sukshma-vyayama. In a standing position, rub your palms until warm, stretch your arms forward and pull your fingers up and towards you, then down and towards you (5 p. In each direction). Bring your arms out in front of you, unfold with the backs, cover with your left hand with your right hand and interlock your fingers in the lock.Rotate the lock down and towards you, then up and away from you (5 sets). Separate your hands, release tension from them and repeat the same on the other side, turning your palms with the backs and placing your left hand on top of your right (5 sets). Lower your arms down and perform circular movements in the shoulders: back, up, forward and down (5 sets); forward, up, back and down (5 sets). Stretch the top of your head up, perform alternate turns of the head in one direction or the other; then alternating inclinations to the shoulders; then semicircular movements, first along the chest, then along the back (5 approaches each).

    Remaining in a standing position, while inhaling, bring your arms out in front of you and spread them apart, without dropping below the shoulders, pulling your shoulder blades as much as possible, with an exhalation, bring your arms forward and hug yourself by the shoulders, stretching the interscapular zone (5 approaches).

  • The next ligament is also performed in a standing position, with the feet at the width of the pelvis. While inhaling, collect your hands at your chest (Namaskar mudra) and press your palm into the palm for two breathing cycles (inhale / exhale, inhale / exhale). With the next exhalation – hands down, fingers – into the lock. Inhale, lift the lock up over your head (palms up). With an exhalation, lower your hands to the back of your head, trying to bring your elbows back (4-5 breathing cycles). With an exhalation, pull the lock in front of the chest and round the back, stretching the interscapular region (legs bent at the knees).
  • Bring your arms out in front of you, palms up. Make sure you twist your arms around your shoulders as well, not just your wrists. With an inhalation, raise your hands up and take them back (make sure that your thumbs always look to the sides, not up), then down and again forward. Then round the thoracic region, the head looks down, the neck and back of the head are relaxed (5 approaches).
  • Dynamics in Marjariasan. Get on all fours: feet at the width of the pelvis (ups on the floor), put your hands much wider than your shoulders, so that when lowering the body to the floor, the wrists are clearly under the elbows. With an inhalation, lower your chest down, with an exhalation lift it up, rounding your back and pushing the platform between the shoulder blades, relax your neck and back of the head (5 approaches).
  • Shalabhasana. Lie on the floor with your stomach. Place your arms back along your torso without touching the floor. As you exhale, simultaneously raise your head, chest and legs off the floor as high as possible (long hold).
  • Ardha Bhujangasana. Lying on your stomach, place your palms under your chest, fingers towards the pelvis. Pushing your palms off the floor, stretch your ribs up and forward, as if crocheting the space in front of you. Lower your forearms to the floor, parallel to each other. If your shoulders are pinching your neck, move your arms forward, away from the body. With an inhale, push off with your forearms and stretch your crown upward, with an exhale – hold. With an inhalation, pull the floor towards you with your forearms and stretch your chest forward, with an exhalation – hold (5 approaches). Performing Ardha Bhujangasana regularly will help remove stoop even at 40!
  • Makarasana. Stay in a prone position. From simple to complex: a) bend your arms at the elbows and raise your head, chest and legs above the floor at the same time (long-term hold); b) clasp your hands in a lock on the back of your head; c) bring straight arms forward, simultaneously lifting the upper and lower parts of the body.
  • Sarpasana. Lying on your stomach, clasp your hands in the lock on the lower back. Raise your head, chest and legs at the same time, also stretch the lock towards the feet and up.
  • Shalabhasana, Makarasana and Sarpasana can be performed both statically (a more difficult option) and dynamically – rising while inhaling, and lowering during exhalation (duration – 1 min.).
  • Ushtrasana. Get on your knees, put your pelvis on your heels, take your hands behind the line of your feet. Slowly lifting the pelvis and pushing it forward (!) And up, step with your hands to your feet and, if possible, catch your heels with your palms. Stay in the position for a comfortable amount of time. Exit – in reverse order.
  • Shashankasana. Remaining on your knees, put your pelvis on your heels, slightly spreading your knees to the sides, lay your stomach on your hips, and put your hands in front of you, you can put your hand on your hand, and your forehead on top.
  • Sitting on your heels, lift your torso to the vertical in your spine. Place your fist under your chin and press down on it, pulling the back of your head up. Perform 5 sets with a hold of 30 seconds.
  • Urdhva Dhanurasana. Lie on your back and bend your knees so that your knees are clearly above your feet. Bending your elbows, place them closer to your shoulders with your fingers towards the pelvis. Straining the buttocks and the back of the thighs, push the pelvis up, parallel to pushing off the floor with your palms and lifting the chest. Try to keep your elbows pointing straight up and not to the sides.In the extreme position, push off with your feet and stretch your whole body towards the head to place your shoulders above the wrists. Be careful! If possible, ask a loved one to hedge you, holding your back, putting his hands on your ribs. Perform several approaches with intermediate compensation – hugging your knees with your hands and pulling them up to your forehead.
  • Pavanamuktasana. Bring your knees to your forehead and your forehead to your knees, but without gripping with your hands. Place your hands towards your feet, parallel to the floor. While holding the position, try to raise the sacrum as high as possible. Hold the position for up to a minute.
  • Shavasana. Lying on your back, find the most comfortable position for your body. Direct the tailbone up, pressing the lower back to the floor as much as possible. If you feel tension in your lower back, place a pillow under your knees. Stay relaxed for 10-15 minutes.

This complex is very effective in affecting problem areas. But in order to achieve the result, you need to practice daily (!) For 30-60 minutes.

Doing yoga as gymnastics from stooping, remember that this is an integral system for the development of the body and, first of all, the spirit ( Diligence and patience on the way to perfect posture. Hmm!