Have you had any nagging thoughts about your posture lately? Musculoskeletal diseases are one of the leading global disabilities according to a study by The World Health Organization, where 20-33% of people worldwide are diagnosed with one of these conditions and experience back pain on a daily basis . Do you wonder if you are one of them? It is fairly easy to check if your posture is misaligned. Remember, if you catch any troublesome signs, please seek medical help immediately.
The wall check
The wall check is one of the most basic and standard tests often taught to kids. Are you ready to try the wall check? Ok, then.Stand with your back against a wall with your feet about 6 inches away. Head, shoulders and bittocks should touch the wall. Place your hand behind your neck first and check the distance. It should be around 2 inches. Place your hand behind your lower back next, palms to the wall. Check the distance. Again, it should be around 2 inches.
The mirror or picture test
Assume your posture and stand in front of a mirror or ask someone to take your picture. Imagine drawing a line in your middle and check if there are any visible signs of asymmetry. The main areas, which can signal if there are any spinal problems, are the shoulders, the hips and the knees. Check if they are level or uneven. Don’t forget to check if your head is centered or if it appears slightly tilted to one side.
The Apley test
This test will help you measure your shoulder range of motion. We recommend that you perform it in front of a mirror or ask a friend to keep check on you. Stand tall and let your arms hang relaxed at your sides. Raise your right arm and bend your elbow. Rest your hand on the back of your neck, palm down. Next, bend your left arm and let it reach your back, palm up. Slowly slide both hands alongside the spine so they can meet in the middle. They should ideally overlap or at least touch.
Sit and reach test
Poor posture affects the hip and hamstring flexibility so it is good to check their range of motion too. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you and try to touch your toes with your hands. Alternatively, you can also perform this test while standing. Put your feet together and keep your knees locked. Slowly bend forward and try to reach your toes with your hands. Remember to do this slow and gentle, otherwise you risk straining yourself.
Thumbs check test
One of the most common causes of poor posture is rounded shoulders. Do you want to check whether you share this tendency of slouching your shoulders? Stand in front of the mirror with your feet together toes slightly apart. Relax and rest your hands hanging at your side. Now take a look at your hands and observe your thumbs. Your thumbs should point forward. If they are turned inwards, then you have rounded shoulders.
These are just a few of the test you can do to check if there are any indications that you have a poor posture or any back problems. Please go through them slowly and carefully to avoid straining yourself. Remember to check with your doctor if you have doubts about your posture. As we said in the beginning, it is very common to have imperfect posture or a musculoskeletal condition. The good news is that nowadays it is also much easier to improve it thanks to physiotherapy, chiropractors and posture correctors.
 World Health Organization. Musculoskeletal Conditions - February 2018 www[.]who[.]int/mediacentre/factsheets/musculoskeletal/en/