Poor posture is a habit that may have begun during your childhood and perpetuated through adulthood due to lifestyle, inactivity and/or repetitive slouching. Inadequate posture will affect your health, is less aesthetically appealing, and creates a persona of being unhealthy, less energized and less confident in general.
Inadequate or poor posture insidiously creates spinal problems or at the very least weakens the spine thus predisposing it to problems. Interestingly, many spinal problems develop without any incidence of trauma or sudden injury. Actually this is the majority of cases, and in these cases the primary cause of back pain is due to insufficient posture and poor body mechanics which creates spinal disc, joint and muscle stress.
Poor body mechanics include how we lift things and move our bodies as well as how we posture ourselves in front of computers, driving, sitting in front of the TV and sleeping. Consistently maintaining good posture and body mechanics helps support our spine. Repetitively failing to do so will weaken the spine, slowly wearing on the muscles, ligaments and discs. This is behind why so many claim to have done ‘nothing’ when their back ‘went out’. They didn’t have to. It was already weak and primed to do so!
Poor posture creates significant muscle, joint and spinal disc stress that initially and possibly for some time, may only cause tension, tightness or achiness and frequently may not give any symptoms at all! But, constantly holding your body in an improper position while standing, sitting or lying down will gradually affect your health overtime. It creates spinal muscle imbalances (some muscles tighten and some weaken or become inhibited). This compounds the adverse effects of spinal stress and increases the risk of injury.
Overtime, the stress on those structures will create more significant problems such as herniated spinal discs, spinal arthritis and pinched nerves. Having an MRI is valuable when there is strong evidence to believe that structural damage has actually occurred to the disc or other spinal structures. This is typically not the case, especially early on. A thorough consultation and examination by a doctor who specializes in spinal care is paramount.
How can you determine if you have poor posture?
Our Body Stress Assessment is a unique health screening designed to help people recognize how postural stress may be affecting their health and overall stress burden. Within minutes, we will identify physical and postural imbalances that may be contributing to various health symptoms and complaints such as headaches, neck and back pain, and muscle tension. This intriguing screening measures the degree of physical stress that one’s posture is placing on the body. A personalized printout of the results are interpreted and recommendations are made on how one can start to improve their health and reduce stress immediately.
Insufficient posture and being overweight also creates an undesirable self-image and can be harmful to your health. Maintaining a healthy weight will eliminate being too heavy around the waist which adds stress and strain to your lower back. A customized exercise program will help manage your weight and develop strong abdominal muscles which are the back’s greatest support.
Inadequate posture also causes other health issues. Standing tall gives your internal organs more room in the abdomen allowing the digestive system to function properly. It also allows your respiratory system to work better by enabling your lungs to take deep breathes. Slumping over restricts your breathing, creating less oxygen and therefore less energy. Being able to take deep breathes is also a relaxation technique that helps you to temper stress.
Our holistic approach integrates the services of chiropractic care with physical therapy, nutrition and weight management in order to look at the patient as a whole. The power of proper posture helps you to look great, get strong and be healthy.