Posture and Chiropractic

 

What are the benefits of good posture?

 

“Sit up straight” or “don’t slump” is advice we have all probably heard at sometime during our lives, as someone is trying to tell us to fix our bad posture. But you may not understand why having good posture is so important, and all the benefits that good posture can bring about. Here are just some of the many benefits that having good posture1:

  • Less chance of pain in the neck or lower back – poor posture places stress on these areas and can cause pain
  • Decreased incidence of headaches – poor posture leads to increased muscle tension at the back of the neck which can cause tension headaches
  • Increased energy levels – when all of our joints are in their correct alignment this allows our muscles to work at their best, which stops them from using excess energy, so this energy can be used elsewhere in the body
  • Decreased risk of joint degeneration – poor posture places excess stress on some joints, which can eventually lead to degeneration
  • Increased lung capacity – slouching compresses your lungs, having good posture gives your lungs more room to expand
  • Improved circulation and digestion – just like your lungs, other organs can be compressed with bad positioning, good posture allows your organs to work at their best, helping with functions such as circulation and digestion
  • Improved core strength and reduce injury – good posture allows your core and back muscles to stay active and engaged, resulting in a strong core. This strong core protects our spine and minimises your chance of injury
  • Increased confidence – good posture can make you appear taller and more attractive to other people. Which also improves confidence and self-esteem

 

What can cause bad posture?

 

Numerous things can cause us to have bad posture including2:

  • Slouching when sitting or standing – this can place strain on your muscles and can also cause some of your muscles to stop working effectively, which could leave you more vulnerable to injury
  • Wearing high heels – this can cause an increased curve in you lower back, putting more stress on this area of your spine
  • Increased weight or pregnancy – excess weight around the stomach and pregnancy can also cause and increased curve in the lower back
  • Leaning on one leg when standing – this causes an imbalance to muscles, mostly around the pelvis, which can place extra stress on the pelvis and lower spine. This can also be caused by carrying a heavy bag on one shoulder, carrying a child on one hip, or even sitting with your phone or wallet in your back pocket
  • Hunching over when at a computer or on your phone – this usually causes tight chest muscles and weak upper back muscles, which can cause pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back

 

How can chiropractic help?

 

Chiropractic is extremely beneficial when it comes to improving posture. The first way chiropractic can help, is through the chiropractic adjustment. By adjusting segments of the spine that aren’t moving properly, chiropractors can return the normal movement and function to the joints of the spine. Bringing  overall balance to the body. This helps with postural imbalances such as having one hip or shoulder higher than the other, or when the natural curve in your neck has started to straighten out.

When the joints of the spine are moving properly, this better enables them to sit in the correct position. Also allowing the muscles around them to activate work properly to support the spine, thus creating better posture3. However, chiropractic adjustments alone aren’t going to give you perfect posture. You will have to put in some work yourself. As chiropractors have so much knowledge on the spine and posture they can provide you with many stretches and exercises that will help to improve your posture. They can also provide lifestyle advice such as how best to set up your seat, computer, and desk at work. Chiropractic care along with the advice given by your chiropractor can have an amazing impact on your posture4.

 

 

 

References:

 

  1. Jonaitis, J. (2018, September 18). 12 benefits of good posture — and how to maintain it. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/posture-benefits
  2. (2019, July 10). Common posture mistakes and fixes. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/exercise/common-posture-mistakes-and-fixes/
  3. Physio Works. (2019, March 17). What are the benefits of good posture? https://physioworks.com.au/FAQRetrieve.aspx?ID=31641
  4. American Chiropractic Association. (n.d.). Posture. https://acatoday.org/content/posture-power-how-to-correct-your-body-alignment

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Sitting and Posture Health

Poor sitting posture and effects on spine health

Have a desk job and worried about your sitting posture? You are right to! Over time, poor posture from bad habits during everyday activities can wreck havoc on your spine. For instance, having a desk job, driving, leaning over a cell phone, carrying a bag over same shoulder, prolonged standing, breastfeeding and caring for small children, or even sleeping.

Poor posture can become ingrained, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. What’s more, damaged spinal structures can have other knock off effects throughout the rest of the body. The good news is, our spine is adjustable and with a few simple changes, good posture and spine health can be achieved.

Here are a couple of steps you can take immediately to improve bad posture:

1. Identify the symptoms of back pain caused by an inefficient work environment and poor posture.

  • Did something change in your environment within the same period the pain commenced? For example, a new job, a new office chair, or a new car, a new desk.
  • Is the back pain is worse at certain times of day, or week? For instance, after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer.
  • Does the pain start in the neck and move downwards into the upper back, lower back, and extremities?
  • Does the pain ease after switching positions?

Right and wrong sitting posture - office chair

2. Keep the body aligned properly while sitting in an office chair and while standing

  • When standing, distribute body weight evenly across the front, back, and sides of the feet.
  • When sitting, select a chair that’s features support good posture. Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line.
  • If you need to change position throughout the day, try shifting forward to the edge of the seat with a straight back and alternate with sitting back against the support arch of the office chair to ease the strain on back muscles.
  • Try a balance / swiss ball. In this position the pelvis is tilted gently forward increasing the lumbar curve which shifts the shoulders back (similar to sitting on the edge of a chair seat).
  • Be aware of and avoid positions such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, sitting on your legs, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders up or forward, and tilting the head.
    Correct sitting posture at desk or office chair

3. Get up and move frequently.

This one is so easy to achieve, yet often the most forgotten. As muscles become strained, slouching, slumping, and other bad postures occur; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back.

Change positions frequently, in order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture. At work,  set an alarm to remind you to get up and take a break from sitting in an office chair every hour for at least two minutes. During this time stretch, stand, or walk.

poor posture sitting - stand and stretch

When to see a Chiropractor for poor posture

Many people visiting our chiropractic clinic in Auckland suffer from back pain or neck pain relating to poor posture. Our approach to treating this is very effective. We start by examining and fixing the physical problems — a process that usually involves chiropractic adjustments to correct any misalignments.

Secondly, we identify the cause of your poor posture. We find any lifestyle factors which are causing the issue. Such as assessing your sitting positions, desk environment and any other relevant triggers. We then show you correct sitting and standing positions and give you tools and exercises to prevent poor posture in the future. By correcting the root cause of postural issues, we can ensure that the musculoskeletal system remains healthy.

Neck and Upper back Pain from poor posture – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Avoid Neck Pain While Carrying Your Bag

It’s very easy to choose fashion over function without even thinking about it. You’ve got to feel good about what you’re wearing and that often means going for the fancy purse or handbag over the practical option. However, this comes with its consequences since the weight offset can lead to shoulder, headaches, neck and/or lower pain and dysfunction.

While carrying a heavy enough bag on one side, your natural gait (walking pattern) can change since your center of gravity will shift to one side. This leads to muscle imbalances and certain muscles working harder than others, which then leads to the dysfunction and discomfort.

The following are 5 tips you can use to reduce the negative effects of carrying a bag on one shoulder.

  1. Only carry what you need
    -Lowering the weight that you carry can significantly reduce the stress and strain on your body. The amount of unused contents in our bags can be surprising sometimes. Plan ahead and know what you need on which days to make sure you’re only carrying what you need. Your body will thank you
  2. Switch sides
    -This one can be difficult due to your body getting used to carrying your bag a certain way and favouring one side. However, it’s worth getting into a habit of switching shoulders to help with your body’s muscle imbalances and asymmetries.
  3. Choose bags with dynamic/alternative strap options.
    -Certain bags have handles that you can hold in your hand or longer straps that you can wear across your body. This can help bring some variety to the way you carry your bag and the cross strap options can help better distribute the weight across your body.
  1. Consider switching to a backpack
    -Luckily, there are many stylish backpack options nowadays that you can choose from. Two strap bags are much better for weight distribution and symmetry. Get out there and see what you can find!
  2. Opt for smaller bags
    -Bigger is not better in this case. When you have a bigger bag, you’re more likely to put more stuff in there.

Using these strategies can help you make your fashion functional. Feel free to consult with us about bag options or any pinch points you feel while carrying your bag around.

Chiropractor Auckland

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This blog is sponsored by Little Ninja & Priorityfitness

 

Royalty-free HD carry bag photos | Pikrepo

How Poor Posture Is Destroying Your Health & 2 Posture Tests To Try At Home

Why is proper posture so important? Is it for the way you look? Sure, people definitely look better when they fix their posture. But regardless of esthetics, your posture is actually key to how your body functions in more ways than one.

Take muscles for example: when you’re sitting with your head forward, your posterior (back) neck muscle are working way too hard to support your head, while your anterior (front) neck muscles switch off. This leads to muscle imbalances and over time may very well develop into neck pain which can be stemming from degeneration, disc disease, muscle strains and so on.

Now your organs: when your body gets used to a slouching position and makes it a long term problem your intestines get compressed and digestion can become difficult. Poor posture also reduces lung capacity by up to 30%. As you can imagine it can compress the heart and reduce the flow of blood to vital organs thereby making them work less efficient and create disease within them.

Not only does posture affect you physically, it can also be detrimental psychologically. Studies have linked poor posture to increased depression, stress and fatigue.

The overall effect can become global and when those issues persist long term they can take away from your quality of life and even longevity.

 

“How do I know if I have a possible posture problem?”

 

Luckily there are 2 tests that you can try at home to see if you have any possible posture problems. All you need is a wall and/or a floor!

 

The Wall Test

 

Stand with the back of your head against the wall with your heels 6 inches away from the wall. Your buttocks and shoulder blades should touch the wall.

If you can slide more than 3 fingers behind your neck or the small of your back then it indicates poor posture.

 

The Floor Angel

 

Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet on the ground. Lower your rib cage so it’s in contact with the floor and your arms are out and bent at the elbow by 90 degree like so:

If your hips, rib cage, head or wrists and arms can’t maintain contact with the floor then this may indicate possible postural issues.

Try these out and see what your posture is like! If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to ask your structural chiropractor.

 

Your Trusted Auckland Chiropractor

Contact Revolution Chiropractic – Leading  Chiropractor Auckland

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Image from page 29 of "The posture of school children, wit… | Flickr