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How Bad Posture Can Affect Your Health

PostureMany of us grew up getting told to sit up straight. As kids, most of us didn’t listen. Yet, the notion of keeping good posture is an important one. It turns out maybe our moms knew what they were talking about after all. We’ll talk about how posture plays a crucial role in having good health.

What is good posture?

Posture is the way we hold ourselves in different positions, both dynamic and static, such as sitting, standing, and walking. We often associate someone who holds good posture with an individual that exudes confidence or discipline; this is because it really is a sign of good health. There are a few common traits that you can recognize in a good or “normal” posture. These include:
o Looking from the side, the spine creates an “S” curve from your head to your tailbone, which is designed to absorb impact with daily activities such as standing, walking, running, jumping, sitting, etc.
o Lordotic (backwards) curves are in the neck and low back
o A kyphotic (forward) curve is in the mid-back
o The skull is balanced directly over the shoulders- rather than jutting forward
o Both shoulders are in line with the spine and not slouched or rolled forward
o Chin is neutral so that your line of vision is forward
o No rotation in the spine at rest
o Hips, knees, and ankles are all relatively aligned from top to bottom

How can poor posture affect your health?
Poor posture is much more than an aesthetic issue. It also can put a major damper on your body’s normal function. The biggest problem it can contribute to is the overall alignment of the spine. Spinal misalignment is a common issue that is overlooked that can manifest as a whole slew of symptoms, including pain, poor concentration or mood, injury, and so much more. Poor spine alignment blocks normal nerve energy and ,therefore, every bodily function it helps regulate.

In addition to spinal misalignment, poor posture can also lead to chronic inflammation, pain, and circulatory issues. These can cause or aggravate other pre-existing health conditions as well. An example and a common one is acid reflux from slouching. Correcting your posture, especially as we age, isn’t only about sitting up straight. You need to be stretching muscles that are too tight and strengthening muscles that are too weak in order for your body to hold it’s natural posture. This imbalance in tight and weak muscles is what contributes to poor posture and it needs to be corrected. The longer you’ve had poor posture, the longer it can take to correct. That’s why it’s important to start now!

As chiropractors, we have helped improve the posture of many patients with adjustments, stretches, exercises, and helping re-train their muscles. Call to make an appointment so we can help!

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