You’ve heard it since you were a child – “stand up straight, and don’t slouch!” It turns out that Mom was not only worried about how you presented yourself, but that good posture is really essential to your overall health. Bad posture can cause issues beyond neck and back pain, including breathing and digestive problems.
Posture refers to the position we hold our body during all of our daily activities – sitting, laying down, standing, and while in motion. Poor posture is often a result of improper spinal alignment, and therefore, is something a chiropractor can help to remedy.
Misalignment can occur when a patient spends a lot of time in the same position, such as sitting at a desk 50 hours per week. However, it can also occur after a traumatic event such as a car accident. While there are many ways for you to exercise and stretch at home, your chiropractor is an important ally.
Here are some of the disorders which can be caused by poor posture, which may be alleviated by addressing your posture and spinal alignment.
Headaches: Cervicogenic headaches originate in the neck, and can travel to the head or face. The pain radiates and can either cause an inability to move the neck or intensify with neck movement. These types of headaches are caused by a forward head posture, which results in undue stress on the joints and muscles in your neck. One of the most common causes of these headaches is extended time in front of a computer. Experts recommend that your monitor be placed at eye level to help alleviate these problems.
Joint Pain: While poor posture is most often associated with neck and back pain, it can also contribute to pain in other joints such as your hips, knees, or ankles. Because all extremities are connected to the spinal column, imbalances and misalignments can cause strain on these joints even while sitting. Balance chairs or balance cushions can help to alleviate the stress on these joints.
Arthritis: It only stands to reason that if the stress on the joints is detrimental in the short term, over a period of time it can result in a chronic condition. Poor posture can eventually lead to joint degeneration, arthritis, and other scenarios of limited mobility, which can then morph into ‘fixed’ poor posture – a long term issue.
Proper posture can help in other surprising ways as well. Patients who have their alignment corrected often report a reduction in stress, an increase in self-esteem, improved sleep patterns, and even fewer digestive issues.
How Chiropractic Care Helps
Whatever the cause of your spinal misalignment, be it poor posture or a car accident, chiropractic care offers significant relief.
Chiropractors utilize spinal and joint manipulation to improve posture and optimize mobility in the joints. While exercise and physical therapy techniques may be able to correct a patient’s posture issues, over time, a chiropractic adjustment may be necessary to realign the spine properly.
A chiropractor will evaluate your posture and determine where you are having issues. Your chiropractor will likely perform tests on your body alignment, joint mobility, and strength. They will also record and take into account your sleep habits, work habits, and exercise habits. All of these data points will help to pinpoint the source of your problems and more accurately address your pain and discomfort.
Posture – whether good or bad – affects your daily life in many ways. Ignoring poor posture for too long can cause serious long term health issues.
If you are experiencing neck, back, or joint issues, call West Coast Wellness to correct the spinal misalignment as soon as possible. Spinal alignment will not only improve your quality of life in the short term, but set you up for better health and wellness down the road.