Do you ever think about your posture? If you don’t you should. Posture is the first thing a physician or health professional looks at as you walk into their office.
We ask ourselves many questions such as: Do you walk without assistance; Does your gait remain smooth and easy; Do your feet turn in or out; Are your shoulders pulled back or are you slouching over at your upper back or middle back; Is your head properly aligned over your shoulders; Are your hips even or tilted on one side; are your back muscles stronger than your chest muscles; Is one shoulder higher than the other; Are you being negatively affected health-wise because of your posture?
Neck, head pain, arm numbness and tingling all can stem from poor posture of the neck, shoulder and upper back. There is a natural design of the spine which supports these regions. If we lose our proper balance of muscle strength then we alter our posture. This usually happens due to work or play activities, slouching in chairs and couches, relaxing too much and not exercising. When you work on your posture muscles you will mostly be working on the muscles in your back. You can have great looking pectoral muscles and have lousy posture. The same is true for the hips and low back.
Chiropractic’s role in posture correction is key for many aging people. Chiropractors align the joints which prevent you from standing tall. Some joints degenerate quicker than other and need to be treated before the damage is too far gone. For example, we see arthritic patients in our office who have arthritis in an area which causes them pain and causes their posture to remain altered. After treating the joint misalignment with gentle spinal adjustments, our patients frequently note that their pain lessens and their inflammation reduces. Once this occurs we can help them discover which home exercises they can perform to strengthen their weak posture. We continue to work on restoration of their posture which usually equates to their ability to move and function well. This allows the organs to become healthier due to an increased space to function properly. Internal space is important since squishing an organ like the heart, day in and day out, due to poor posture impedes the organ’s function long term.
As you age, your posture becomes more important. Poor posture puts stress, tension, and possibly pinching of nerves to all the organs your spine is supposed to be protecting. Over time pinched nerves will degenerate into disease processes which can include heart attack, stroke, heart and lung disease. Posture is not the only cause of disease, but if you have poor posture you are paving the way for poor health to arrive sooner than later.
Age is just a number. We have many patients, from teens to elderly, who come into our office and have not focused on their posture which is a direct indication of why they are in such pain. We have also had elderly patients who take advantage of local programs such as silver sneakers (many local gyms pay for membership via medicare benefits) who respond quicker to conservative corrective therapy than those who don’t. Working out and Chiropractic care are very healthy for your spine which is the gateway to your health. Keeping the small joints of your spine in alignment should always be the first step at keeping your brain and body communicating at high capacity without the use of medicines or other invasive therapies such as injections and surgery. Chiropractic care is a great choice for your spine, no matter how old you are.
Yours in Health,
Susan Sanders DC, BAT, COHC
Serving Fort Pierce, Port Saint Lucie and the Treasure Coast, Florida