Total Health

Is it too late to fix your posture?

April 9th, 2021 by
Category: Posture

man sitting at a desk hunched over laptop

Poor posture is one of the main things we aim to correct in practice. It is so important for optimal overall function of your body! Quite often, patients will tell me they know they have bad posture, but they don’t actually know how it’s affecting their body or why improving their posture is so important.

Depending on how long you’ve had poor posture for, or what caused it in the first place, improving it can be a long process. Everybody is different – different injuries, different lifestyles, different habits – so a customised plan set out by a Chiropractor (or another health care professional) should always be considered when you’re trying to make long lasting, beneficial changes to your body and overall posture.

When it comes to posture, we have to understand that if you do nothing, then nothing will change. As silly as it sounds, it’s true. If you’re sick and tired of an aching neck and shoulders, headaches, or a sore lower back, then you have to make a change and stick to it. This isn’t something you can change overnight!

So, what is bad posture?

Bad posture has many variations. The most common ones we see are –

  • Forward head carriage
  • Forward rolling shoulders
  • Increased curve/sway in low back
  • Increased curve in mid back
  • Feet rolling inwards
  • Hips and shoulders tilted

Common causes of bad posture

There are so many varying factors that can affect your posture. Some of the most common causes of bad posture are –

It’s never too late to improve your posture –  there is no reason that you can’t improve your posture little by little every day.

Ways you can help improve your posture

Some of the things we recommend in practice to help improve your posture include:

Using a posture pole daily

A posture pole is basically a long foam roller that has been cut in half, designed to be laid on for 15 mins per day or night. The posture pole has many benefits, but its main function is to open up the chest and upper back, while realigning the head and shoulders back to a neutral position.

Chin tucks and upper body stretches

Chin tucks are an exercise we normally prescribe to our patients who have significant forward head carriage. Forward head carriage can cause things like headaches, aching in the shoulders and neck, shoulder impingement, and pain going down the arm. Chiropractors teach you this exercise to strengthen up the deeper neck muscles that may be weak and further contributing to poor posture and aches and pains.

Some upper body stretches we like to give most of patients with forward rolling shoulders and forward head carriage are pectoral stretches (chest stretches). Similar to the posture pole, these stretches are designed to open up the chest and stretch out the tight muscles that are pulling your shoulders forward.

We also teach our patients how to correctly stretch different parts of their neck to help relieve some of the nagging aches and pains they feel from having poor posture.

Core exercises

We commonly prescribe core rehab for people who come in to see us with lower back pain from poor posture such as forward tilting hips, and an increase sway in the lower back.

Strengthening the core with the correct rehab can help alleviate some of the symptoms that come with poor lower back posture, and can also help stabilise your hips and lower back.

Glute activation and rehabilitation

Similar to core rehab, glute activation techniques and rehab can also help stabilise your hips and lower back, whilst strengthening the lower body. The exercises we teach our patients are unique to the patient’s needs, but some of the more common exercises we use are various forms of glute bridges, clam shells and hip extension exercises.

Lower body stretches

It’s always good to keep up your flexibility, especially when you’re trying to improve your posture.

Some common lower body stretches we prescribe include hip and glute stretches, and hamstring stretches. Child’s pose (yoga pose) is also a really good stretch for a tight lower back.

The above stretches and exercises are all small things you can implement every single day to help improve your posture. Chiropractic adjustments are also really great as they can help with realignment and stabilisation of your spine. I would suggest consulting with a Chiropractor or another trusted health care practitioner to find out exactly what you need to help improve your posture. At Total Health Chiropractic, we work with you to develop a personalised and detailed step by step plan to get your posture back on track.

An important “take home” message from this post: if your postural problems have been around for a long time, it is likely that it will take some time to fully correct, so please be patient and enjoy the process.

Blog post written by Romina Troiani (Chiropractor)


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