Posture refers to the upright position of your body against gravity while sitting, standing or lying down. Good posture means training your body to sit, stand, walk and lie down in such a way that there is least strain on muscles and ligaments.
Why is good posture important? Consider the following reasons:
- Helps you keep bones and joints in proper alignment so your muscles are used efficiently, decreasing the amount of wear and tear on
joint surfaces that can lead to degenerative changes, arthritis and pain.
- Reduces the strain on ligaments that hold the spinal joints together, lessening the likelihood of incurring injuries.
- Allows your muscles to function more efficiently, enabling your body to exert less effort and thus conserving energy and preventing
- Helps prevent overuse disorders, muscle strain, and even back pain.
Benefits of Proper Posture
At PhysioCore we always advocate good posture to our clients because of the multitude of benefits that it offers. Such benefits are related to what were enumerated in the preceding section, in addition to the following:
- It keeps your bones and joints in proper alignment so your muscles are being used correctly.
- It helps decrease the abnormal wear on joint surfaces.
- It prevents your spine from assuming abnormal positions.
- It minimizes tension on your neck, shoulders and lower back.
- It increases your lung capacity. If you are in a slouched position, your lungs are compressed. On the other hand, if you are sitting and standing properly, your lungs have more space to expand, thus improving breathing.
- It improves blood circulation and digestion. If you’re assuming bad posture, you are compressing vital organs, your blood circulation becomes poor, and those organs won’t work efficiently. Healthy circulation requires correct alignment and avoiding positions that impede circulation, such as crossing your legs.
- It makes you look taller and slimmer. This contributes to a good appearance and boosting self-esteem.
Consequences of Poor Posture
Poor posture can exert excessive strain on postural muscles when they are held in certain positions for prolonged periods. For instance, you usually notice this at the workplace where people slouch in front of the computer for extended periods. This makes them prone to back pain and their postural muscles also become susceptible to injury. Over time, poor posture can lead to loss of function and deformity in the spine
A number of factors contribute to poor posture, including obesity, stress, pregnancy, weak postural muscles and wearing high-heeled shoes. Moreover, decreased range of motion, bad sitting/ standing habits, and improper working posture also contribute to poor body positioning.
Signs of Bad Posture
There are several indicators of poor posture, although some of the more common include the following:
- Hunched or rounded shoulders
- Forward head carriage
- Rounded upper back
- Arched lower back
- Bent knees when standing or walking
- Muscle fatigue
The signs and symptoms of bad posture start to develop from poor sitting, standing or sleeping habits. They may also start to manifest due to age, chronic bone disease or the onset of a genetic disorder.
Some of the visible signs of bad posture are typically seen among people who slouch. Their heads are tilted forward, there’s rounding of the upper back and arching of the lower back. These changes exaggerate the natural curvatures of the spine.
The opposite type of bad posture is common among people who are too upright. They normally hold their head behind their center of gravity, their shoulder blades are retracted, their lower back is arched and their knees are locked.
Aside from visible signs, there are also painful symptoms associated with bad posture. Sleeping on your stomach or slumping while sitting place undue pressure on your shoulders and low back, causing neck or back pain. In addition, a skeletal problem may cause long-term or recurrent pain in the neck, hips, knees or ankles.
Unsure if you have good posture? Talk to our chiropractor or schedule an appointment for a thorough evaluation.
How Can a Chiropractor Help Fix Bad Posture?
Our chiropractors at PhysioCore have been trained to analyze posture and identify associated problems. They can determine the cause of such problems and address them to help fix your posture. They typically look for the following:
- Variance in your stance
- Changes in your natural gait pattern
- Increase in spinal curvatures
- Forward/backward head tilt
- Uneven shoulder height
- Uneven hips or pelvis
- Abnormal knee alignment
Once our chiropractors pinpoint the underlying problem, they will discuss with you a treatment plan to correct your posture. Spinal adjustments, exercise, stretching, lifestyle changes, and good nutrition may form part of your treatment. They will also instruct on the proper ways to sit, stand, walk, and sleep so you can achieve a more ideal posture.
And since we deliver a holistic approach to physiotherapy, we also incorporate massage into the treatment regimen. It effectively loosens muscles and relaxes joints to enable greater freedom of movement. This enables your body to position itself in a healthy and natural posture, thereby avoiding certain positions and movement patterns that were developed over time as reactions to pain or discomfort.
Remember that it’s never too late to seek help about your posture. You can count on our chiropractors to have the knowledge and expertise to diagnose your postural problems and work closely with you on an effective treatment plan.
How About Posture Correctors…Are They of Benefit?
For years’ posture corrector braces have been used to fix poor posture. A lot of people claim that the braces have helped them achieve a better posture. Such devices use the principle of tissue adaptation, which pertains to the fact that your body adapts to something that you do for an extended period of time.
When you start wearing a posture corrector, your body will assume proper position. So after a while, it adapts to that position wherein there’s correct alignment of your head, neck, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles.
Note, however, that there are many different types of posture correctors in the market today. Hence, you simply just don’t go out shopping for one. It is generally recommended that you consult with a chiropractor so you can know for sure if it will suit your needs.
In the vast majority of cases, wearing a posture corrector is NOT a permanent solution. It is intended as a training tool that reminds you to have correct alignment. At some point, you’ll need to complete that training and that must be your end goal.
For us at PhysioCore, we warn our clients against using one for extended periods because it can lead to over-dependence which will ultimately cause your core muscles to atrophy. Sometimes, if it is not properly fitted or adjusted to your body, there can be an adverse effect which can eventually lead to a serious health hazard.
Evidently, there are certain advantages and drawbacks to using posture correctors. Again, it would be wise and prudent to seek the advice of a professional. Visit us or give us a call and we would be happy to help and address your concerns.
Summary and Final Words…
Poor posture is a common problem that can be debilitating if left unchecked. But on a positive note, chiropractic treatment offers a conservative, non-invasive approach to address the issue. You don’t even need to take medications to help alleviate the pain and other associated symptoms. Work closely with your chiropractor and you should be on your way to a speedy recovery.
More people are now aware that chiropractic is a highly regulated field with highly-trained practitioners. For those in Ontario, PhysioCore is one of the most trusted rehab therapy clinics offering chiropractic treatment. We have gained a sterling reputation for proving outstanding care by being a multi-disciplinary injury rehab center. We take utmost pride on our team which boasts 40 years of combined experience. So if you’re seeking posture correction in Thornhill, book an appointment to know how chiropractic can be of valuable help.