Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies. Good posture is essential in helping people stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least amount of strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Without it, we could not support ourselves and would fall.
How many of us remember being told to “suck in our stomach”, “stand up straight” and “pull our shoulders back” when we were young? “Although this is great advice for a young spine that has yet to adapt to poor posture habits, as an adult with progressive deconditioned postural muscles, unfortunately these positions do not result in a pleasing, biomechanically effective, natural posture. Rather, they cause our muscles to tighten.,” said Wendy Varish, DC, FACO, CCSP, Howards Grove Chiropractic.
Posture is primarily associated with spinal function. The adult human spine commonly has 26 movable segments consisting of:
● Seven vertebrae in the neck; known as the cervical spine
● 12 vertebrae in the mid-back; known as the thoracic spine
● Five vertebrae in the lower back; known as the lumbar spine
● One sacrum: the part of the spinal column that is directly connected with, or forms, a part of the pelvis
● One coccyx: a small bone that articulates with the sacrum and consists of four fused vertebrae which form the terminus (end) of the spinal column
The cervical spine is normally convex to the front, the thoracic spine is normally convex to the rear, and the lumbar spine is normally convex to the front. The sacrum and coccyx are oriented convexly to the rear. “These alternating curves from top to bottom create biomechanical balance and, working together, they create spinal flexibility allowing the spine to distribute biomechanical loads effectively and efficiently, which results in ease of motion and strength throughout the course of one’s daily activities,” said Dr. Varish. “We understand how our tires can wear unevenly with our car being out of alignment or how a chair with a short leg causes additional dysfunction, but we often don’t appreciate how our spine affects the rest of our body’s functions.”
Most people don’t think about posture until there is a problem – and rarely do they associate poor posture with much bigger problems. Various musculoskeletal habits, physical and mental stress, diet and nutrition, injury, and spinal biomechanical dysfunction can affect a person’s posture. Over time, these circumstances can diminish the degree of the curvature of the affected spinal regions and reduce the normal biomechanical curves of the spine. When the spinal curvatures are flattened, the loss of normal curves in the neck, mid back, and/or lower back cause poor posture. “Straightened regions of vertebrae lose their biomechanical resilience, leading to muscle tension, muscle spasms, and pain in various regions of the spine in seemingly simple movements such as bending over to pick up a dropped pen or pencil or putting groceries in the car. These movements often result in sudden, significant pain and injuries that can linger for several weeks,” said Dr. Varish. To maintain proper posture, you need
adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions and efficient postural muscles balanced on both sides of the spine.
Why is good posture important?
● Helps keep bones and joints aligned so the muscles are used correctly and decreases abnormal wear of joint surfaces that can cause degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
● Reduces stress on the ligaments that hold the spinal joints together, which minimizes the likelihood of injury.
● Allows muscles to work more efficiently, which allows the body to use less energy and prevent muscle fatigue.
● Prevents muscle strain, back and muscular pain and overuse disorders.
Your posture can be corrected, but it takes time. By detecting, analyzing, and correcting spinal biomechanical dysfunction and nerve interference, regular chiropractic care will help reestablish normal spinal biomechanics and improve physiological function and performance throughout the body.
Fortunately, with the help of Dr. Varish and her associates, Dr. David Portmann and Dr. Erik Butzen, it is possible to attain good posture in ways that support your health and well-being. As an experienced chiropractor, trained in spinal screenings, assessments and care, Dr. Varish will assess your posture, recommend exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles, help you attain proper posture and provide important health information that can unlock the door to improved health and well-being. She will also review your daily activities and make recommendations that will reduce your risk of injury.
“Understanding the importance of proper posture and practicing it in your daily activities – at home and at work – will not only help reduce poor posture and the pain it can cause but will also improve your overall quality of life,” said Dr. Varish. To arrange a screening appointment, call Howards Grove Chiropractic at 920-565-3922.
About Howards Grove Chiropractic
The doctors at Howards Grove Chiropractic are dedicated to treating you and your family. The clinic’s state-of-the-art electronic health records system allows the doctors to access your health care information in order to provide you with the highest quality of care. And to further your chiropractic health care experience, nutritional counseling, digital radiography(x-rays), physiotherapy including light therapy (laser), electrical therapy, and ultrasound, and massage therapy are also available. Howards Grove Chiropractic doctors are highly trained in spine, extremity, muscle, and bone conditions and will assess your complaints to determine if a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary. Their diverse background allows them to successfully evaluate and treat many conditions from sports injuries, work injuries, and personal injuries to senior care, pediatric care, headaches, nutritional issues, and wellness and preventative care.
At your first visit to Howards Grove Chiropractic, doctors will explain the science behind how chiropractic care works and give you a full evaluation to see if chiropractic care is right for you. If there is a good fit, they will develop a plan of chiropractic care that is specific to your condition and health goals. If your condition cannot be resolved with chiropractic care, they will assist you in finding the treatment that is better suited for your condition.