The Posture Question
When I discuss posture with my adolescent patients I often think back to my childhood and being reprimanded by my elders to “stand up straight!” or “quit slouching!” or “sit up and tighten your core!” But as annoying as it was then, I hope that parents here in Milwaukee, Greenfield and West Allis are telling their kids the same thing, because most people just don’t understand the importance and necessity of good posture for your overall health!
Why Is Good Posture Important?
We’re often told how important proper posture is, and it’s easy to recognize poor posture due to years of bad habits in older adults. But many fail to consider that your posture is simply an outward reflection of how well your spine (and therefore your spinal cord and nervous system) are functioning! Correct posture:
- Allows you to move and perform activities more efficiently with minimal strain on supporting muscles and ligaments.
- Keeps joints in proper alignment, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that results in joint pain and degenerative arthritis.
- Reduces stress on ligaments supporting the spine, minimizing risk of injury.
- Helps prevent overuse disorders, decreasing muscle pain and fatigue.
Poor posture causes excessive strain on postural muscles and will even cause them to shorten if left uncorrected for long periods of time. You can see evidence of this in the hunched appearance of people who’ve spent years working in a bent-forward position and can no longer stand up straight.
Besides a poor working environment, factors that commonly contribute to poor posture include stress, obesity, pregnancy, abnormally weak or tight muscles, wearing high-heeled shoes, and unhealthy sitting, standing or sleeping habits.
Do You Have A Posture Problem?
The best way to evaluate your posture is to see your chiropractor; Doctors of Chiropractic spend years learning how to diagnose and correct postural abnormalities. However, you can detect many postural problems in your or your childrens’ spines at home with just a camera, pencil and ruler.
- Have someone take a photo of you standing in a neutral relaxed position from both the front and the side.
- On the front-to-back view, draw one line connecting the highest points of the shoulders and another connecting the highest points of the hips. Also draw a line between the outer corners of the eyes. On a person with perfect posture, all of these lines will be parallel to the ground and each other.
- On the same view, also draw a vertical line through the center of your body. Again, on a person with good posture, this line will be exactly perpendicular to the first three lines you drew and will perfectly bisect the back, neck and head.
- On the side view, place points on the hole in the ear, middle of the shoulder, middle of the hip joint, knee, and ankle. Draw lines to connect the dots. Someone with perfect posture will have a straight line that’s perpendicular to the floor.
If these lines are not level, you have a postural problem that should be evaluated and corrected by your chiropractor.
At Wellness Way Chiropractic we use our years of experience to diagnose postural abnormalities in the spine and correct problems using a gentle, non-thrusting adjusting technique that’s effective for patients of all ages ranging from children to seniors. To make an appointment today, call us at 414-367-6050 or use our online scheduling app.