For older individuals experiencing posture problems, slumping, slouching, and upper back pain, could adding rib cage exercises help bring relief and prevent the condition from worsening?
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It’s common to associate a collapsed upper back posture with age, but other factors can also contribute to the problems. (Justyna Drzał-Grabiec, et al., 2013) The rib cage and the pelvis are important to body structure and comprise much of the core. If these bone structures become misaligned due to unhealthy posture, the muscles that attach to them become tight, weak, or both, and the surrounding muscles have to compensate, causing a worsening of the condition and further injury.
This exercise can be done sitting or standing. A daily routine can help improve posture and relieve back problems and pain.
With practice, individuals will realize the healthy posture changes and increased distance between the ribs and pelvis.
Individuals looking for more ways to strengthen healthy posture should consider yoga.
A study published in the International Journal of Yoga suggests that a great way to activate the core may be to include a variety of yoga postures into the routine. (Mrithunjay Rathore et al., 2017) The ab muscles attach to various places on the rib cage and play a role in posture, alignment, and balance. The researchers identified two muscles, the external obliques, and the transverse abdominal, as key to a healthily aligned posture.
Drzał-Grabiec, J., Snela, S., Rykała, J., Podgórska, J., & Banaś, A. (2013). Changes in the body posture of women occurring with age. BMC geriatrics, 13, 108. doi.org/10.1186/1471-2318-13-108
Rathore, M., Trivedi, S., Abraham, J., & Sinha, M. B. (2017). Anatomical Correlation of Core Muscle Activation in Different Yogic Postures. International journal of yoga, 10(2), 59–66. doi.org/10.4103/0973-6131.205515
Papegaaij, S., Taube, W., Baudry, S., Otten, E., & Hortobágyi, T. (2014). Aging causes a reorganization of cortical and spinal control of posture. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 6, 28. doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2014.00028
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