When you think about the term ‘posture’ most people think about sitting up straight in their chair (just reading this may have caused you to sit up a little straighter) or boarding school where girls practice walking with books balanced on their head. What is Posture Correction?
What Is Posture?
The reality is that posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture is, as you can imagine, the correct alignment of the bones. Your head rests over your spine which sits directly over your pelvis which sits directly over your knees and ankles. This alignment allows for proper weight distribution, the way nature intended. Poor posture is just the opposite. Poor posture distorts the alignment of these bones throwing off the weight distribution of the body.
Why Is Good Posture Important
Good posture helps us to stand, sit, walk and lie in positions that place the least amount of strain on supporting muscles and ligaments. Good posture allows the muscles to work much more efficiently, which in turns allows the body to use less energy and therefore helps to prevent muscle fatigue, muscle strain and muscle pain. Good posture also reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together thus minimizing the likelihood of injury.
Consequences Of Bad Posture
Poor posture can be caused by a number of factors such as stress, obesity, decreased flexibility, poor work environment and unhealthy sitting and standing habits. Poor posture can create a number of issues within the body. The most immediate problem with poor posture is that it creates chronic muscle tension as the weight of the head and upper body must be supported by the muscles instead of the bones. Poor posture contributes to stressful conditions such as loss of vital lung capacity, increased fatigue, reduced blood and oxygen to the brain, limited range of motion, stiffness of joints, pain syndromes, reduced mental alertness, and decreased productivity at work.
There are a number of conditions that can either cause or be caused by bad posture these include the following:
Sciatica refers to pain that radiates along the path of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in your body. It runs from your pelvis, through your hip area and buttocks and down each leg. The sciatic nerve branches into smaller nerves as it travels down the legs providing feeling to your thighs, legs, and feet as well as controlling many of the muscles in your lower legs. Sciatica is actually a sign that you have an underlying problem putting pressure on a nerve in your lower back.
The most common cause of this nerve compression is a bulging or herniated lumbar disc. Sciatica may be accompanied by numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness in the affected leg. This pain can vary widely, from a mild ache to a sharp, burning sensation or excruciating discomfort. Sometimes it may feel like a jolt or electric shock. Sciatic pain often starts gradually and intensifies over time. It’s likely to be worse when you sit, cough or sneeze. The vast majority of the time, sciatic pain can be relieved through a combination of stretches, deep tissue massage and chiropractic care.
Scoliosis is a sideways curve of the spine that causes stiffness and pain. The vertebrae can rotate at the thoracic level of the spine causing this curve and resulting in a hump near the rib cage. If the curve is more than 60 degrees it is considered serious. Usually this curve makes the waist or shoulders uneven. Scoliosis can be treated in various ways to help alleviate pain and restore normal functionality. Chiropractic care can help improve this condition. We look at your overall health examining your spine as well as other factors of your lifestyle. Regardless of the treatment used, physical therapy may be added to scoliosis treatment to increase muscle strength and mobility.
Most people do not realize how much they move their neck during the day until they are unable to do so. We associate the neck and upper back together, because most of the muscles that are associated with the neck either attach to, or are located in, the upper back. Most neck and upper back pain is caused by a combination of factors, including injury, poor posture, chiropractic subluxations, stress, and in some instances, disc problems.
Chiropractic Care To Improve Posture
Correcting bad posture and the physical problems that result can be accomplished in two ways. The first is by eliminating as much “bad” stress from your body as possible. Bad stress includes all the factors, habits, or stressors that cause your body to deviate from your structural center. Bad stress can result from a poorly adjusted workstation at work, from not having your seat adjusted correctly in your car, or even from carrying too much weight around in a heavy purse or backpack.
The second is by applying “good” stress on the body in an effort to move your posture back toward your center of balance. This is accomplished through a series of exercises, stretches, adjustments, and changes to your physical environment, all designed to help correct your posture. Getting your body back to its center of balance by improving your posture is critically important to improving how you feel.