A poor midback posture is very closely linked with several other postural imbalances that coexist and feed off each other. These include forward head posture, neck flexion, rounded shoulders and depressed ribs. All of these combine to influence the mechanics of the body in a many ways, including the way that we breathe.
The lungs and diaphragm are located inside the rib cage. When the lungs expand, the ribs are elevated, and when the lungs shrink, the ribs are depressed. A poor mid back posture restricts this rib movement, decreasing the size of the thoracic cavity and reducing the amount of oxygen that the lungs can take in. In fact, lung capacity can be decreased by as much as 30% with a poor midback posture.
Why does this matter? Reducing the amount of oxygen we inhale puts more stress on our heart and lungs, which elevates our body’s overall stress levels. This can lead to a wide range of health problems such as anxiety, obesity, high blood pressure and fatigue.
So how do we fix it? Focus on strengthening our core stability muscles while continuing to breathe. This is something that pilates and yoga instructors are constantly reminding us to do. If you catch yourself holding your breathe during these exercises, it means that your stability muscles have lost their ability to support your posture while you breathe. This promotes inefficiency and can put more stress on the body.
Start by practicing a few of these simple exercises:
At Sports and Spinal Group, we incorporate a variety of manual therapy techniques and strengthening exercises to help improve your mid back posture. If you are experiencing shortness of breathe, pain or tightness due to your mid back posture, book in with one of our Osteopaths.