Total Health

What is a posture pole and how to use it to improve your posture!

February 17th, 2021 by
Category: Posture

three people sitting at table hunched over laptops

To understand what a posture pole is and why we prescribe to it most of our patients, you have to understand what poor posture is and what it’s doing to your body long term. 

What is poor posture and what does it do to the body?

Image demonstrating bad posture, image demonstrating good posture

Bad posture is something I see every day in practice – yes, EVERY DAY! But why is posture so important? it’s not because it simply looks bad, it’s because it sets off a cascade of events in the body which can lead to pain, and poor overall health. 

When your head drops forward and your shoulders round forward, this sends an immediate signal to the brain to activate the Sympathetic nervous system (aka fight or flight response). This response should only be activated when there is an immediate threat to your survival, which requires immediate action (i.e. to fight or to run away). 

Prolonged stress can cause the following: 

  • Shoulder and neck muscle tightness
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Digestive upsets – bloating, constipation or diarrhea
  • Light sleep, vivid dreams and feeling tired
  • Increased blood clotting factors (increased risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis – DVT)
  • High blood pressure
  • Feeling cold
  • Difficulty losing weight
  • Salt and sugar cravings
  • Gallbladder problems
  • Hormonal imbalance, including high oestrogen and/or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)
  • Uterine fibroids
  • Hair loss
  • Thyroid imbalance
  • Water retention
  • Anxiety, depression and irritability
  • Low immune system 

Some of the most common places I see this posture (forward head and rounded shoulders) include:

Without realising it, you could be stuck in this posture all day long. Can you start to see how this is a big problem and why poor posture can be so detrimental to your health? 

This is why we prescribe posture poles and other types of exercises to help improve poor posture. 

What is a posture pole? 

product image of a posture pole laying on the ground

A posture pole is a long foam roller that’s been cut in half resembling a half-moon shape. It is placed along the length of your spine, all the way up to the back of your head. Basically all you have to do is lay on it – it’s as simple as that! 

How to correctly lay on a posture pole

The correct way to lay on a posture pole is by having your arms stretched out with your palms facing up, having your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. The posture pole must go length ways down your spine and must support your head and tail bone – this is very important!

Chiropractor demonstrating how to use posture pole

How long and often should you lay on a posture pole?

Generally, we ask our patients to start by laying on a posture pole two times per day for 5 minutes at a time. Once they can lay on the posture pole for 5 minutes without pain or any feelings of discomfort, they can then progress by increasing the time they lay on the posture pole. The ideal amount of time to work up to is 15 minutes. 

This helps rehab your posture by opening up the chest and back area, as well as realigning your head back to a neutral position, allowing the sympathetic nervous system response to dial down.

Purpose of the posture pole

The point of the posture pole is to not only correct posture, but also to de-stress. While you are laying on the posture pole, it’s important to try and switch off – use of phones and other devices are not advised during this exercise.

Try using this time to focus on meditation and/or deep breathing for more benefits.

15 minutes of laying down with no interruptions might be easy for some people, but for people with busy minds it can be quite difficult. 

If you’re finding it hard to switch off, try putting on some calming music in the background. Alternatively, you can break up the exercises into smaller time frames – i.e. 7-10 minutes in the morning and 7-10 minutes at night. Anything is better than nothing. 

Once you start doing this every day, 15 minutes won’t seem as daunting and unachievable. You may even start looking forward to your daily 15 minutes of posture resetting relaxation. 

Blog post written by Dr. Romina Troiani (Chiropractor)


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