Practicing Good Posture
Poor posture is a common symptom of Parkinson’s. A ‘stooped’ posture can present with a flexed trunk, rounded shoulders, and a forward head position.
As well as being uncomfortable, this posture can have a knock-on effect on other important functions. This can include the volume of your voice, your balance, your flexibility, strength and swallow. However, there are a range of exercises that you can do to help to maintain and improve your posture!
1. Upper Back Stretch
You can do this stretch sitting down on a chair. Place both hands behind your head, opening your elbows out to the side. Lean back, make sure your back is fully against the chair and look up towards the ceiling. Take a deep breath in and out. Repeat this movement 5 times. This helps to stretch the muscles at the front of your chest and shoulders which can become tight with a stooped posture.
2. Trunk Rotation
You can do this exercise in a standing or seated position. Cross your hands over your chest. Sit or stand up straight. Then turn your upper body to look over your right shoulder. Then turn to look over your left shoulder. Be sure to turn your upper body and not just your head. Keep your hips facing forward if you are standing. This helps to loosen the stiffness in your trunk that can be caused by poor posture.
3. Chin Tucks
You can do this exercise from a seated position. Sit up as straight as you can. Gently bring your head up and in towards you so that it is over your shoulders. Tuck your chin back towards your neck (like making a ‘double chin’). Hold this for 5 seconds and then relax. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
4. Shoulder Squeezes
Sitting or standing up as straight as you can, squeeze your shoulder blades together. Be careful not to lift your shoulders up as you do this. You should just be pulling them backwards. It can help to imagine you are holding something between your shoulder blades and you can’t let it drop. Hold it for 5 seconds, then relax. Repeat this exercise 5 times.
If you find the symptoms of Parkinson’s have had an effect on you, check out the Beat’s Medical Parkinson’s service to see how we can help. Our customers have used our service to improve their walk, balance, vocal volume, voice clarity and hand function.
When walking to the Beat, stop, reposition yourself and think “shoulders back, head up”, then continue walking.
- Ask loved ones to tell you if they notice you stooping.
- Change your position often.
- Take movement breaks!
Focus on your symptoms every day by using the Beat’s Medical App for as little as 10 minutes! Sign up for a 14 day free trial here.