Posture Tips from North York Chiropractor Dr. Michael Rodney

The hidden consequences of poor posture

Many patients come to our clinic looking for solutions for various musculoskeletal complaints, usually pain, injuries, or stiffness. It’s common for these issues to have started because of poor posture. These effects can add up, especially as we get older or more sedentary. 

Below are the most common symptoms that stem from poor posture. These symptoms should never be ignored. If we can recognize these as warning signs before they become chronic, we can help you take steps to improve these effects and prevent future problems. 

Common symptoms of bad posture include:

  • Rounded shoulders
  • Muscle cramps 
  • Neck pain or stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Joint pain or stiffness
  • Restricted mobility

Your posture matters. Good posture is the foundation of a healthy body.  If these symptoms are left untreated, they may lead to chronic pain or more severe health problems. 

Examples of severe health problems from poor posture can include pain and stiffness that can lead to decreased activity which will lead to weakness, putting you at risk of fall-related injuries. Over time, it can also cause spinal degeneration through wear and tear because your vertebrae are misaligned.  In some cases, uneven stress on your joints can lead to irreversible osteoarthritis, a chronic condition causing inflammation and stiffness in the joints.

These problems can reduce your quality of life. The good news is that you can correct your posture and that’s what we’ll explore in the section below.

How can I fix my sitting posture?

By making a few adjustments to your daily routine, you can improve your well-being right now and in the long term.  Below are the top 5 tips to help you with proper sitting posture.

Keep these things in mind when you’re sitting in an office chair or at home using your computer or phone.

  • Move your lower back into the back of the chair so that your tailbone is tucked under the lumbar support.  This will cause the small of your back to feel supported.  Ensure your feet are flat on the floor. If it is not, please use a footrest. (See Photo 1)
  • Ideally, you’re using a chair with lumbar support. If your chair doesn’t have lumbar support, try using a small pillow or rolled-up towel to support your lower back.
  • Keep your elbows by your side while you’re sitting. If your chair has armrests, adjust them so that your elbows are just slightly supported at the end of the natural hang. This means that your arms should hang with your shoulders relaxed by your side. Ensure that your elbows are in line with your body and not ahead of it. This should naturally leave a 90-degree bend. Make sure that the chair is high enough to allow for the arms to be in line with the desk.  (See Photo 2)
  • Avoid crossing your legs above the knees while you’re sitting. Crossing your legs puts your spine in an unnatural position where your pelvis becomes unlevel and leads to something called a functional scoliosis. A functional scoliosis is when the body is placed in a position that causes a curve of the spine. The biggest problem with this is that if left untreated and repeated over time, the body will more likely keep this position or lead to biomechanical problems. 
  • Take a few minutes every hour of your day to stretch and move your body.  Use a timer to help remind you so that you don’t miss the opportunity while you’re focused on your job. Some ideas: You can find a stairwell and go up and down them, squat on the spot or just gently turn your head from one side to the other. Remember that a break from sitting is NOT sitting somewhere else.  Please move your body and increase blood flow.  
Photo 1
Photo 2

Imagine feeling pain-free and energized? By practicing these tips every day, you can experience reduced pain and stiffness, improved mobility and flexibility, and even increased energy levels.

You’re probably wondering how long it will take to start feeling better. If you practice these tips a few times a day and whenever you notice your bad posture, you should see some improvements within 6 to 12 weeks. 

Start your wellness journey now. Try these tips and take control of your posture today! 

Where can I get more help for my posture?

If you’re experiencing persistent back pain, it’s important to consult with a professional. At Madison Clinic in North York, conveniently located at Sheppard and Yonge, we care about you and your health. We offer personalized and comprehensive chiropractic care and services to help you achieve good posture. One of the benefits of chiropractic care is that we can help you identify issues with your posture and perform adjustments to help restore better spinal alignment. We can also provide you with additional guidance related to posture correction and prevention.

If you have any questions check out our Frequently Asked Questions here or feel free to email us at You can also call or text us at (416) 222-8235.

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