Chin in, Chest out, Up Straight.
Most of us have been nagged by our moms at some point in our lives to sit up straight and watch our posture. Most of us have probably tried, only to realise a few minutes later that we have already stooped back to normal. So why is it so hard to maintain good posture?
Firstly it’s important to understand the difference between functional posture and structural posture. To sum it up very simply, functional posture has a lot to do with the muscles and can be improved with specific exercises (pilates, yoga, weight training etc.).It’s what you can visibly see; if you normally slouch and you pull yourselfupright, then you have altered your functional posture. The problem is themuscles are not strong enough to hold you in this position for very long, soyou invariable return to normal. The more you exercise, the stronger themuscles become and the longer you can hold this posture for.see a local chiropractor to help you
Structural posture has more to do with the internal structure of the spine, the bones, joints and ligaments, and will require more than just exercises to improve. Calgary Chiropractic treatment that focuses on postural correction is a great way to do this, and can be measured with appropriate spinal x-rays.
What most of us don’t realise is that our normal posture (functional) is largely dependent on the shape of our spine (structural). A correctly aligned spine should look straight when viewed from the front or behind, and should have 3 curves when viewed from the side (see below). Any deviation from this normal position will affect our posture.For example, too much curve in the upper back region can cause what is commonlyknown as a “hunchback”, too little curve in the neck can cause a forward headposture , while a lateral curve of the spine is known as a scoliosis.
This would probably be a great time to take a good look at your own posture. Stand in front of a mirror, close your eyes, take a deep breath in, nod your head back and forth and when you feel like you are relaxed and looking directly forward, breathe out, open your eyes and take note of what you see.
Your ears, shoulders and hips should all be level and a line down the middle should bisect your body in half. Looking at your posture from the side is slightly trickier and you may need a few mirrors or a friend to help. Ideally a line should pass through your ear, centre of your shoulder, hips and just in front of your ankle joint when viewing from the side.
Do you look anything like the postures below?
Abnormal postures have many causes and can either develop slowly over many years, for example the person who spends 8 hours a day hunched over a desk; or relatively quickly, like the person who suffers a whiplash injury following a car accident.
The problem with poor posture is:
Pressure tends to build up in specific areas of the spine rather than being distributed evenly throughout the spine. This increase in pressure will cause damage to the vertebrae and discs which can negatively affect the adjacent nerve tissue. (The nervous system controls everything in the body, and any damage to it, can lead to a variety of health problems)
Muscles have to work harder to compensate for these changes, which will lead to muscle weakness and fatigue.
It can lead to pain, numbness, tingling and many other health problems.
It can cause restricted flexibility, decreased range of motion and increase your risk of injury.
Poor posture doesn’t look good.
The longer you continue with a poor posture, the more damage it will cause and the harder it becomes to correct.
So listen to your mom and don’t wait any longer if you are concerned with your posture or how it might be affecting your health.
For a full posture assessment or further information please contact:
Active Back to Health
#302 Chinook Professional Building 6455, 6455 Macleod Trail SW, Calgary, AB T2H 0K9