Can Chiropractic Help With Your Posture?
Last updated on March 21, 2023
Everyone has been told to “sit up straight” or “stand up straight” at some point… this is probably followed by an eye roll. However, is it possible that your mother was right and good posture is essential for your basic health and as an extension, optimal health?
Why Is Good Posture Important?
For many reasons!
- With good posture comes spinal strength. Your spine has essential curves which are responsible for shock absorption as well as ensuring even distribution of weight from your head and your body (think of it like a spring). When we see changes to these curves and altered distribution of this weight, areas will wear down from pressure, your spine will change in shape to compensate – very cleaver by the body BUT this isn’t actually helping you in the long term.
- Restriction of movement and impedes mobility
- Poor posture puts unnecessary pressure on your diaphragm, ribs, and thoracic spine (between your shoulder blades), this leads to an inability for them to expand (rise and drop) to their full capacity when we breath. What does this mean – it reduces your lung capacity and the amount of air you can breathe in. The importance of this is that you need oxygen throughout your body for essential functions.
- Poor posture and changes to the shape of the spine can apply pressure onto the nerves exiting the spine, this has an effect on the nervous system. This is significant because the nervous system is responsible for EVERYTHING within the body. Everything being organ and bodily functions, pain, sensation, movement as well as the body’s ability to heal. Pretty important, right?
- Have you heard about the research around the benefits of holding the “superman pose” or “power pose”? – there is a TED Talk on this “Your Body Language May Shape Who You Are”– watch it! Now, there is conflicting opinions on this topic about the validity of the research BUT we know that poor posture (head forward, rounded shoulders) triggers our stress response in the body “Fight or Flight”. So in contract, good posture dampens the stress response and we enter our “rest, digest, regenerate” state. To learn more on this topic read “SD Protocol: Achieve Greater Health and Wellbeing” by Dr. Wayne Todd (Chiropractor). This book is available for purchase from our clinics.
Good Vs. Bad Posture
Now we know why we NEED good posture, but you’re probably thinking “what is good posture?”.
This is easy explained with the following diagram.
- Front on: we want symmetry. Uneven levelling of the hips and shoulders cause excess pressure on certain sides. In addition to this, muscles will tighten and sit in a lengthened position for an extended period of time. If they are not in their ideal position, then can make them weak and make you more susceptible to injury.
- Side on: we want the ear, shoulder, hip, knee, and ankle to be perfectly lined up. This is when those curves we spoke about earlier are in their necessary position.
How Can Chiropractic Help?
Chiropractors have a range of modalities in their tool belts. Some of the ways our chiropractors can help you with your posture are (but not limited to:
- EDUCATION: we have a wealth of knowledge on the human body that we WANT to share with you. We can teach you about simple modifications to your everyday life that will help you create good postural habits that will make a huge difference over time
- SPINAL ADJUSTMENTS: The spinal adjustment has several benefits. Yes, biomechanically we can assist joints to move in the way they are designed which helps with stiffness, tension, and mobility. The quick stimulus of an adjustment into the tissue around the spine essentially exercises the postural muscles so they begin to work as they are intended. Additionally, an adjustment has been proven to stimulate the prefrontal cortex of the brain which helps up dampen our stress response and move into our “rest, digest, regenerate” state. By doing this our body will begin to bring itself out of our stress posture (How cool is the nervous system!)
- SPECIFIC CORRECTIVE EXERCISES: chiropractors can prescribe specific exercises aimed at strengthening and conditioning the muscles around the spine, so it is better supported.
These benefits are just a few ways chiropractors can help improve your posture, but the benefits of chiropractic do not stop there and can help with a wide range of conditions as well as improve an individual’s general wellness.
To learn more and have your posture assessed by one of our highly trained chiropractors – contact the clinic TODAY