Most people have a good idea of what posture is. Unfortunately, good posture is becoming harder and harder to come by with the stresses of our modern lifestyle. Postural faults that persist can cause discomfort, pain or disability.
Many years ago, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons defined poor posture as – faulty relationship of the various parts of the body which produces increased strain on the supporting structures and in which there is a less efficient balance of the body over its base of support.
For most of us, this takes the form of forward head movement and stooped or rounded shoulders. Rene Cailliet, a renowned author on the topic, demonstrated that for every inch of forward head movement you have, the physical force exerted on the neck and shoulders by the head actually doubles. So if your head weighs 10 kilos, and it shifts forward only a couple of centimetres, your neck is now carrying 20 kilos. When bones and soft tissues are under this sort of stress for a long period of time, damage starts to occur.
Similarly, with poor muscle tone around the lower back and abdomen, there is a tendency to hang off of the spinal joints, rather than using the core muscles for support.
Over time, these changes can become chronic or even permanent. Some researchers have gone as far as to say that chronic postural disorders are probably the most common initiating or contributing cause of chronic back pain.
Postural assessment is a critical part of the physical examination procedures performed by chiropractors. With chiropractic care helping patients to improve their spinal mobility, you can more effectively implement the strengthening exercises which can help to restore you to a better and more efficient posture.
At Walkerville Chiropractic, we can introduce you to helpful devices like the posture pole, and a simple daily stretching program such as the Straighten Up Australiainitiative launched by the Chiropractors Association in 2006 can be easy first steps on your way to better posture and a more comfortable life