Does Your Posture Affect Your Health?
When examining patients, most are not surprised when they are told that their posture is not very good. A major reason for poor posture being such a common thing is that everything we do throughout our day leads to bad posture. Whether it is driving, using smart phones or tablets, working at a computer, or manual labor, we spend most of our days bending forward, slouching and looking down. Over time, our spines will lose the normal curves that serve many purposes.
The curves in our spine help to absorb shock when we walk. Nerves exit the spine at every level, and the spinal cord does not slide inside of the vertebrae, so when our posture changes, it pulls and puts stress on the nerves, causing pain and dysfunction all throughout the body. When you slouch forward, you can't take normal, deep breaths, so the oxygen levels in your body can become depleted, and every cell in your body needs oxygen. Your immune system also suffers with poor posture, so if you frequently get sick, you might want to look at your posture. These and many other responses to poor posture show that having good posture is not just about looking good, it is about feeling good and staying healthy.
Because chiropractic works with the whole body, we work with many patients to improve their posture. Chiropractic adjustments return normal function to joints, and reduces pain, so that you can stand straight without discomfort. That combined with specific postural strengthening exercises can dramatically change your posture, and therfore your overall health.
Symptoms of poor posture:
- Rounded shoulders
- Back pain
- Body aches and pains
- Shortness of breath
- Weakened immune system
- Digestive problems
- Inability to focus/concentrate
- Muscle Fatigue
- Depression/mood changes
- Poor circulation
- Increased stress
Things to do to help improve and maintain good posture:
- Regular stretching and strengthening exercises
- Maintain a proper body weight
- Regular chiropractic adjustments
- Good nutrition
- Reduce stress
- Have a good bed and pillow
- Proper arch support
- Proper lifting technique
- Ergonomic work space
- Get plenty of sleep
- Avoid standing on one foot for long periods of time
- Cross your legs at the ankle, rather than the knee
For more information on how to sit, stand and lay correctly for good posture, visit the following links:
- The American Chiropactic Association: http://www.acatoday.org/content_css.cfm?CID=3124
- The Cleveland Clinic: http://my.clevelandclinic.org/healthy_living/back_health/hic_posture_for_a_healthy_back.aspx