There is a lot of information out there about bad posture and how to correct it. Phone and computer work created an epidemic of neck and upper back pains, originally triggered by bad posture. Shoulder and posture straps/gear are becoming more popular to purchase in order to get you quick relief!
It becomes overwhelming to try and find out what is best for you since everybody is different, and may also present with different pre-conditions.
What do I mean by that? You may do some exercises to help your posture, but your shoulders start hurting because your shoulders are too tight or have a pre-condition which can’t be stressed. You may have some discomfort and pain near the shoulder blades, or underneath one shoulder blade. You may wear a brace or strap system, but if you don’t, you can fall back into bad positioning. Some basic concepts must be followed in order to make a difference in the way your spine feels.
Exercises must be distinguished between pain relieving activities near the spine, which often influence your posture in a positive way. Other therapeutic exercises have to do with specific stretches necessary to allow the spine to have room in order to be repositioned. Strengthening exercises selected for postural improvement are frequently recommended but hard to execute, and your awareness of selective movements of the spine likely aren’t developed yet.
In order to understand this a bit, it helps to understand basic biomechanical concepts explaining some of the needed sequencing in exercises, in order to be successful and improve posture. Recognize your lower back is frequently tight when you sit for prolonged periods of time if the lower back is slouched. Corrective movement would allow the lower back to arch.
The lower back can also be both arched and compressed because your middle back is not supporting you, (is rounded), or your hips are longed due to prolonged sitting positions. Your body will compensate and compact structures and muscles next to the lower back will affect it, causing an overarching low back which leads to the compression of the spine.
So, when your lower back is not held in a balanced neutral place because of hip muscles pulling the pelvis into an incorrect position, and or, the middle back is overly flexed and weak, you need to start working on your inflexible hip muscles with stretches, or assist the middle back to loosen up and straighten in order to aid the lower back.
When the middle back is excessively contracted due to slouching while leaning forward to look at our phones and computers, we can create significant problems in the lower back and stress out both the upper back and neck. Muscle imbalances are created with taut chest muscles and hyperactive neck muscles trying to hold the neck from falling off the middle back.
As you can see, posture is not just: “Sit up straight! Push your chest out! Do not slouch! Roll your shoulder blades back!” - commands or statements we have heard for years. Good posture improvement can become a complex multi-regional task, yet can be very much carried out with the guidance of a skilled physical therapist, or other body work specialist!