Chiropractic Therapy and Exercises Can Help Your Posture
There is no question that posture is a crucial part of having a healthy and functional body. But, posture is something we do not necessarily think about on a daily basis. Although posture can easily become an afterthought, when we are conscious of it, the entire body improves. Chiropractic care is a great option for helping to improve and maintain good posture.
Signs You Have Poor Posture
If you are not sure if you have an improper posture balance, try this simple observance. Look in the mirror. Is one shoulder higher than the other? Are your shoulder rounded or hunched forward? If you see either of these two issues, your posture is likely imbalanced. Other indicators of poor posture include a rounded upper back, forward head carriage with an arched lower back and back pain.
Factors the Contribute to Poor Posture
Poor posture is not a result of laziness or lack of knowledge on how to stand up straight. There are many other factors that can play into poor or improper posture, including:
- Weak postural muscles
- Abnormally tight muscles
- Frequent wearing of high-heeled shoes
Over time, this issue can have serious effects on the nervous system and spine. So it is crucial to have it corrected. Other posture issues chiropractic care can fix include forward head translation (slouching), spine misalignment, damage to the normal curvature of the neck, midback and low back, a hunchback, an unlevel pelvis and hip, forward head posture and scoliosis.
What Will the Chiropractor do?
Chiropractic care is an excellent way to correct posture imbalance. If you go to a chiropractor to correct your posture issues, the doctor will first do a complete assessment of your spine and joints. If any restrictions or dysfunctions are found, the chiropractor will make an adjustment to fix those issues. Next, the chiropractor will introduce movements to joints that are problematic to restore the range of motion that was lost and reduce interference of any nerve communication. The chiropractor’s goal is to stimulate the body’s natural healing process so the body can work the way it is supposed to.
How to Maintain Good Posture
Once your posture is adjusted and corrected, it is crucial to maintain it. Your best course of action is to stay aware of your posture when you are standing, sitting and lying down. When you are seated, keep both feet on the floor and resist the urge to cross your legs. When you are standing, do not lock your knees. Instead, keep them slightly bent. Keep your arms relaxed and your shoulders pulled back. When you are lying down, make sure you have the right mattress and pillow. Also, try to avoid sleeping on your stomach.
Stretching for Better Posture
Unfortunately, posture can be adversely affected by our daily activities, like sitting at a computer all day, walking while looking at the smartphones in our hands, watching TV, driving and reading. Thankfully, we can combat the negative effects of these common actions by including stretches that promote good posture into our daily routines.
Here is a quick video that demonstrates three posture exercises that Dr. Apps of Apps Chiropractic shares with his clients.
Here are a few more that you can do anytime:
- Trapezius stretch: You can perform this simple stretch while sitting down. All you need to do is pull your right ear toward your right shoulder. To get a better stretch, you can place your hand on your head to add a bit of pressure. Hold the position for 20-30 seconds and then repeat on the left side. Do this stretch three or four times a day.
- Levator scapulae stretch: This stretch is similar to the trapezius stretch but involves pulling your head diagonally toward your armpit region. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds on each side. Do this stretch three or four times a day.
- Chest stretch: You can do this stretch while sitting on the edge of a chair with your legs a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be facing upward and your chest should be raised. Hold this stretch for 20-30 seconds and repeat it three or four times a day.