Picture Perfect Posture Program Part I
Poor Posture - How Does it Happen?
Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls; things that may be out of your control. However, bad posture can also develop from environmental factors or bad habits.
This means that you have control!
Active Health Chiropractic understands posture-related problems These problems are increasing and
can be seen in:
1) As a society, studies have shown that adults over 18 spend a little over 3 hours on their phones and devices. However bad this is, it pales in comparison to those between the ages of 8 and 18. Their average time per day is 7.5 hours. The more you lean your head forward to look, the more stress you put on your neck muscles and posture.
2) Those who sit at a desk for 8 hours a day. This has increased over time as Covid-19 confined workers to their home.
3) Those who drive for a living. Hours upon hours, truck drivers lose good posture as they bring the goods to our local stores. Luckily, the Department of Transportation (DOT) puts out regulations and medical exams in attempts to help thwart the time spent driving. However, they are still allowed to drive 14 hours before a mandatory extended break.
Good Posture is Good Health
We're a health conscious society today and good posture is a part of it. Active Health Chiropractic knows that good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints and ligaments can work as nature intended. It means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system.
Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems. DOT drivers know this includes things such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments. A person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly.
Even for younger people, how you carry yourself when working, relaxing or playing can have big effects. Did you know that just fifteen minutes reading or typing when using the wrong positions exhausts the muscles of your neck, shoulders and upper back?
Poor Posture and Pain
A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. It can start with...
Fatigue - your muscles have to work hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture. You waste energy just moving, leaving you without the extra energy you need to feel good.
Tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs - by this stage, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. Active Health Chiropractic knows that more than 80% of the neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture.
Joint stiffness and pain - at risk for "wear and tear" arthritis, or what is termed degenerative osteoarthritis. Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years.
Self-Test for Posture Problems
The Wall Test - Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. With your booty touching the wall, check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall. If you can get within an inch or two at the low back and two inches at the neck, you are close to having excellent posture. If not, your posture may need professional attention to restore the normal curves of your spine.
The Mirror Test -
Front view Stand facing a full length mirror and check to see if:
1) Your shoulders are level
2) Your head is straight
3) The spaces between your arms and sides seem equal
4) Your hips are level, your kneecaps face straight ahead
5) Your ankles are straight.
Side View (This is much easier to do with the help of another, or by taking a photo) Check for the following:
1) Head is erect, not slumping forward or backwards
2) Chin is parallel to the floor, not tilting up or down
3) Shoulders are in line with ears, not drooping forward or pulled back
4) Stomach is flat
5) Knees are straight
6) Lower back has a slightly forward curve (not too flat or not curved too much forward, creating a hollow back)
The 'Jump' Test -
Feel the muscles of your neck and shoulders. Do you find areas that are tender and sensitive? Are the buttock muscles sore when you apply pressure? What about the chest muscles?
Lifestyle Tips from Active Health Chiropractic for Lifelong Good Posture
1) Keep your weight down - excess weight, especially around the middle, pulls on the back, weakening stomach muscles.
2) Develop a regular program of exercise - regular exercise keeps you flexible and helps tone your muscles to support proper posture.
3) Buy good bedding - a firm mattress will support the spine and help maintain the same shape as a person with good upright posture.
4) Pay attention to injuries from bumps, falls and jars - injuries in youth may cause growth abnormalities or postural adaptations to the injury or pain that can show up later in life.
5) Have your eyes examined - a vision problem can affect the way you carry yourself as well as cause eye strain.
6) Be conscious of where you work - is your chair high enough to fit your desk? Do you need a footrest to keep pressure off your legs?
NEXT MONTH, ACTIVE HEALTH CHIROPRACTIC WILL DISCUSS WHAT GOOD POSTURE LOOKS LIKE!