Sway Back Posture

What is Sway Back Posture?



Introduction

Posture is the position of a body while standing or sitting. It is easy to spot someone with a good posture; they stand tall with their head and shoulders perfectly aligned with their pelvis and legs. While a poor posture can have a series of adverse effects on to an individual’s health. One of the most common easily noticeable forms of poor posture is a Sway back posture.


‘Sway back posture is also known Lazy man Posture’.


The sway back posture is identified by shoulders and chest leaning backwards, increase in backward tilt of the pelvis and the trunk, with forward head posture{1} .


Why does it happen?



This posture is usually due to a lack of support for the hips and pelvis, with hinging at the back, which causes a lot pressure at the lower back region. Due to weak abdominal muscles, the upper body is move forward.


There is lengthening of Erector spinae (back muscle) in the upper thoracic and upper lumbar part, Scapulae stabilizers, Abdominal muscles (their lower part), and hip flexors. And there is shortening or hyperactivity of Sub occipital, sternocleidomastoid, scalene (Neck muscles), pectoralis major and minor (chest muscles), abdominal muscles, Gluteus Maximus (Buttock muscle) and Hamstrings {2} .


Why this posture causes back pain?


In sway back posture the back and pelvis are in overstretched position, the forward shear force worsens the extension of the lower back. This posture causes mechanical imbalances at the spinal level which in turn lead to excessive compression and even degeneration in the joints. Hence this leads to pain and instability at the spinal level.


How do you treat this Posture?


The sway back posture places the body in sub-optimal positions which may causes excessive stress on the low back region {3} .Main emphasis should be given on teaching correct posture and postural control, along with improving the flexibility in the hyperactive muscles. There are various methods to improve the flexibility to the overactive muscles which may include Deep Tissue Release, Foam Ball Rolling Techniques and Stretching exercises.



Releasing/lengthening of Hamstring muscle and Latissimus dorsi along with anterior chest/shoulder muscles like pectorals, cervical or neck muscles, upper abdominals Thoracic joints mobilization.


Strengthening of hip flexors, gluteal muscles (buttock muscles), external oblique, cervical retractors and Scapula stability muscles is crucial while treating sway back posture.


A sway back posture doesn’t develop overnight, its due years of faulty postures, as our human body has an excellent quality of adaptation. When correcting and avoiding sway back posture the first and the foremost thing is to inculcate a habit of having a good posture and break your posture frequently so that you don’t go into your comfort zone.


References-


1] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29516039/?from_term=sway+back+posture &from_pos=1 .


2]https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kida_Noriyuki/publication/318436356_ Effect_of_standing_postural_deviations_on_trunk_and_hip_muscle_activity/links/5971672b4585153016392695/Effect-of-standing-postural-deviations-on-trunk-and-hip-muscle activity.pdf?origin=publication_detail.


3] Mazaheri M, Coenen P, Parnianpour M, Kiers H, van Dieën JH. Low back pain and postural sway during quiet standing with and without sensory manipulation: a systematic review. Gait Posture. 2013;37(1):12‐22. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2012.06.013

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