There’s a meme circulating on social media that shows the typical images of the evolution of man, from primates to hominids, with continuity in straight man begins to stoop from using tech devices, until he’s almost submerged inside a computer screen and phone.
It’s a cheerful thing, but it rightly shows a tendency to arch the back, either when we are sitting in front of a computer at a desk or when we are looking at the mobile phone, something that is even more evident in the many times we do the latter while walking.
Although this may seem exaggerated, maintaining a type of arched position over time can cause what is technically called kyphosis, which is nothing more or less than the hump formed by the constant arching of the back.
Kyphosis “we can suffer from genetic causes considered to be of idiopathic origin (that is, the cause is unknown, they are usually spontaneous) or this can be the consequence of bad postures maintained over time, for years”, said personal trainer and physiotherapy graduate John Ruiz Lopez at the review QG.
Postural kyphosis is a curvature, rounding, or hump in the back It can occur at any age, including adolescents. The roundness of the back becomes exaggerated due to posture and not diseasereports Kids Health, site dedicated to the health problems of children and adolescents. This symptom is usually not painful and “Unlike other types of kyphosis, a person with postural kyphosis can straighten their back when asked to stand up straight.” It’s bad posture that “gets the muscles and bones of the spine used to being in that position.” After a while “the back remains bent or hunchbacked”, adds the same specialized site.
The spine is naturally C-shaped because it has a protective function. “In the case of the dorsal column, where the hump occurs, has the function of protecting the organs of the trunk, which are vital organs, such as the lungs or the heart. There are other kyphosis in the spine, at the level of the sacrum, to protect the organs of the reproductive system”, explained Ruiz López.
Problems arise when the forward stance becomes exaggerated and the trunk rounds out. Poor postural habits and a sedentary lifestyle are factors that can lead to kyphosis because the dorsal vertebrae tend to flex and over time they complicate the extension movement.
Jobs that require prolonged sitting make it difficult for most people to maintain correct posture. Over time, this can lead to wear of the intervertebral discs and increased kyphosis. “All the movements we make from the trunk forward can be done without problems, but trunk extension and recoil movements will be limited and possibly cause pain or discomfort. We can see it in a very simple way with a trunk flexion test and another trunk extension test,” added the specialist.
In addition to an aesthetic problem, the first discomfort that will be generated will be back pain. Therefore, when the kyphosis begins to be excessive, consultation with a physician is recommended.
With simple exercises that can be done on a daily basis, it is possible to avoid bending down from the thoracic spine. Ruiz López warns that it will always be better to prevent kyphosis than to correct it. According Shirley Sahrmanphysiologist, specialist in musculoskeletal pain syndromes at the Faculty of Medicine of University of Washingtonin St. Louis, USA, for change a pathological posture acquired, it is necessary to invest three times more time in the inverted posture to correct it.
Here are a few recommendations and exercises which will help prevent spine tilt
-Chest extension on a foam roller
It consists of lying on the ground with a roller placed at the height of the dorsal column.
It is a typical yoga exercise in which, hands and knees resting on the ground (quadruped position) bend the spine up and down.
– Sit on a fitball
Fitballs are the oversized rubber balls filled with air used for physical exercises. Sitting for a while while working in front of the computer will definitely change your posture, avoiding the immobile position that hurts so much. It’s an exercise to do for a short time, firstand then it can be longer “because going from completely stable work to adopting postures that are constantly modified can lead to other types of discomfort”, specifies the physiotherapist.
Some specialists consider that It is a good idea to alternate sitting time with standing time. But, stressed Ruiz López, “because it is complicated for many people, the recommendation would be get up every 45-60 minutes”.
-Also to control stress
Moreover, as an anti-stress exercise, it is stand for a while, stretch on your toes with your arms up above your head and slowly descend supporting the heels.
– Place the feet
On the other hand, to keep your back straight while you work, you should place feet on a slightly raised platform (this will help us to sit with a more upright posture) and also bring the screen up to eye level.
Don’t spend too much time staring at the phone, let alone walking. The latter rounds the back.
– Pay attention to posture
Being aware of the posture we unconsciously adopt when working at a desk he will avoid spending as little time as possible in a pathological position and will affect it to a lesser extent.
“Not only stretching, but also we need to strengthen all the muscles that keep us upright, since if we have this active or powerful musculature, will prevent the vertebrae from going into a flexed position, hold them in place » The muscles to be strengthened are the lower trapezius and trunk, It’s also a good idea to stretch pectoral muscles.
By altering the alignment of the spine, when we acquire kyphosis, the neck moves forward to have a more horizontal appearance. “Therefore, when we correct and return to verticality and the vertebrae return to their original position, we will have a more upright position and we will be taller”, concludes the physiotherapist.