“He suffered from curvature of the spine, and sore ankles and knees. He is now able to run with increased agility and play his sports for longer periods of time. Most importantly his posture has improved dramatically. He now sits and stands with a straight back and squared shoulders.”
– Kristina G., on her son’s positive experience with chiropractic for his postural issues
Standing tall and proud isn’t just for presenting your best self to the world. With the spine and nervous system so interconnected, posture greatly impacts our overall health. It also affects and moderates every physiological function ranging from breathing to hormone production.
The Benefits of Proper Posture
Good posture is a state of musculoskeletal balance that involves a minimal amount of stress or strain on the body.
Practicing good posture benefits many aspects of our health:
• Prevents backache, muscular pain, strain and injuries related to overuse
• Prevents fatigue as your body isn’t burning up as much energy with efficient muscle use
• Decreases stress on the ligaments holding the joints of the spine together
• Keeps the bones and joints in correct alignment, so the muscles are being used properly
• Assists in reducing the unusual wear of joint surfaces that could lead to arthritis
What Happens with Poor Posture
Poor posture can lead to a painful condition called postural syndrome. Postural syndrome can cause physical changes to the body and painful side effects:
• Rounded shoulders that tend to droop forward
• Muscles that connect the shoulders and the back of the neck to the head tend to pull the head forward, creating “chin poke”
• Constant, aching pain, stiffness and even burning in the upper middle back areas
• Possible extended pain and discomfort to the shoulder, neck, and head (headaches)
Sitting and the “Text Neck” Effect
Daily interactions with modern devices such as smartphones, desktop computers, laptops, and tablets are simply the norm today. Whether you are engaging with these devices standing or sitting, there is a tendency to take on a forward head posture (aka text neck) that places tension on the spine and muscles at the base of the skull.
Growing up in the digital age, kids are especially susceptible to this “text neck” posture as they are also spending more time playing with modern devices such as laptops, tablets, smartphones and video game systems.
A recent study suggests that looking down at a cell phone is the equivalent of placing a 60-pound weight on an adult’s neck. If children are already starting to apply this stress to their neck, imagine the long-term effects into adulthood? Inevitably, the stresses of this posture may likely lead to premature wear, tear and spinal degeneration.
How Chiropractic Can Improve Posture
Wellness chiropractic care can with postural syndrome or just poor posture. Your chiropractic will provide you with postural awareness and adequate care to help restore muscle balance and joint health. Regular chiropractic visits will ensure that poor postural habits are being properly eliminated and prevented. Chiropractors can also advise on proper ergonomics and stretches when it comes to working with modern devices.
What is Scoliosis
When the spine deviates from a straight, vertical line and begins to curve, the condition is called scoliosis. Scoliosis causes the spine to form a C- or S-shaped curve. Most cases of scoliosis almost always begin in childhood. Studies suggest that females are at a greater risk of curve progression, with as much as ten times a greater risk than males.
Early detection of scoliosis critical as it is easiest to correct then. Some early signs to watch:
• Abnormal posture is an early sign that the spine is beginning to curve
• Raised shoulder or shoulder blade
• A low hip making clothes fit poorly (ie uneven hemlines) or the spine leans more to one side than the other
What Happens with Scoliosis Overtime
Over time, scoliosis can steadily worsen. The bending and twisting associated with a scoliotic spine can lead to the formation of a hump on either side of the back. Eventually one may experience pain, as biomechanical and muscular imbalances progress result in back spasms. If enabled to advance, it can interfere with the lungs, heart, and many other vital organs.
How Chiropractic Can Help
With scoliosis, the more successful management of the condition depends on early diagnosis, and the sooner your chiropractor diagnoses the curve the better the prognosis. However, if you are an adult with a curvature in your spine, chiropractic can still help so be sure to go and get checked.
The primary course of care for scoliosis is a program of specific chiropractic adjustments. These help improve the function and structure of the spine. The muscles will begin to strengthen and posture will improve. In addition, specific exercises will be prescribed to help with muscular imbalances and postural abnormalities.
Posture for a Healthy Back. Retrieved from: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/ns_overview/hic_Posture_for_a_Healthy_Back
Khazan, O. (2014, November 18). What Texting Does to the Spine. Retrieved from: http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2014/11/what-texting-does-to-the-spine/382890/