Dr. Matthew Gianforte
Chiropractic Doctor Shawnee, KS
When you look at your side profile, what do you see? Are you standing up straight, or are you hunched over looking down? These small side profile observations could be potential pain triggers.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, up to 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives. Both back and neck pain are two of the top four common types of pain according to the National Institute of Health Statistics survey. The prevalence of these conditions are high, however there is an easy and simple way to prevent and even alleviate this pain. Checking your side profile could save you from developing back and neck pain. While there are many causes of back and neck pain, poor posture can trigger and complicate these conditions.
Why is posture so important?
Proper posture allows the body to perform everything from everyday tasks like walking, to vigorous exercise with the least amount of strain. Posture supports our muscles, bones, joints, and ligaments during all types of movement. Correct posture helps to keep our bodies in the right alignment. This decreases abnormal degeneration of the joints, which could lead to arthritis and joint pain. Posture also helps to reduce stress on our ligaments, and minimizes injury and muscle fatigue. Since posture effects how the entire body moves, correct posture can be the difference strained overused muscles, and strong flexible muscles.
How to check your posture
According to the British Chiropractic Association, there are four general categories for an altered posture. This includes:
- Spoon– back is flattened, pelvis is tucked forward, and shoulders are rounded.
- Leaning tower– head and shoulders lean forward, over the pelvis.
- Bridge– back is arched, forming a backwards “C.”
- Flat-pack– flat back, shoulder are drawn backward.
Though all four altered postures have different characteristics, the one thing they have in common is that they could indicate pain problems ahead. Poor posture is associated with more than just muscle pain. Posture has been linked to affect other areas of wellbeing including mood, energy levels, self-confidence, range of motion, and increased stress.
Can it be fixed?
The good news is that poor posture can be corrected. When thinking of proper posture, relax, contract the abdominal muscles, and imagine a straight line from your ears to your ankles. The spine should form natural supported “S” curve. Though long standing postural problems may take longer to correct, with practice and awareness the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down can replace old bad habits.
Proper posture is important for maintaining your health and overall well being. The chiropractic doctor Shawnee KS offers at LifeWorks can provide you with some simple stretches and exercises to help correct your posture. So the next time you pass by your reflection, take a sideways glance to check your posture. It could be the next step to preventing major back and neck pain.