Is Your Poor Posture Affecting Your Health?
Posture problems are common, especially among people who are sedentary or sit for long hours at a desk. Because almost everyone I see has a posture problem, I put together this simple guide to help improve your posture. After years of evaluating patients here at Redenbaugh Chiropractic, I’ve learned to spot postural abnormalities; from the way a someone walks through the mall, to a couple sitting on a park bench, or people standing in line at the bank.
The trouble isn’t just that slumped shoulders make you resemble a Quasimodo. Over time, your poor posture takes a toll on the joints of your spine, hips, shoulders and knees. And poor posture can affect the over all health of your entire body.*
Poor Posture can affects more than just your looks, it affects the health of your entire body!
- Forward posture of the head can add up to 30 pounds of extra weight that the neck must hold up.
Under this extra weight, the vertebrae (neck bones) decay 300 percent faster. (Medical doctors call this spinal decay “arthritis.”) This spinal degeneration leads to stiffness and pain.
- Forward head posture results in a loss of vital lung capacity.
Lung capacity is depleted as much as 30 percent with poor posture. Loss of lung capacity leads to heart and blood vascular problems.
- Affects the entire digestive) system, particularly the large intestine.
Loss of good bowel function and evacuation is a commonly associated with forward head posture and a loss of your spinal curves.
- Forward head posture causes an increase in discomfort and pain.
The normal freedom of motion in the first four cervical vertebrae is a major source of stimuli that causes production of endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers). Many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as painful as a result of the forward posture of the head.
- Forward head posture causes loss of healthy spine-body motion.
The entire body becomes rigid as the range of motion lessens. Soon, one becomes hunched.
These long standing postural problems can develop into arthritis and ligament laxity. Poor posture causes reduced flexibility, compromised muscles and fatigue throughout your entire body. Poor posture and related aches and pains make it more challenging to engage in activities that would help such as fitness or sports.
But don’t worry—you can correct these problems with a little bit of effort.
Are you ready to “straighten up” your posture?
Use this posture guide to make sure your posture is in top form.
1. Record Your Alignment
With minimal clothing on, take two full-body photos-frontal and profile. Close your eyes and stand as relaxed upright as possible. With your eyes closed march in place by raising your knees parallel with the floor. Your feet should be hip-width apart and your arms rest gently at your side. Go to step 2 to analyze your posture.
2. Analyze Your Alignment
Total up the number of postural problems you have. If it is “Poor to Bod” you should seriously consider being evaluated by a posture professional, like a chiropractor who is experienced with helping to correct these problems. If you are in the Storm Lake Iowa area, call our office or reach out to a chiropractor near you.
3. Correct Your Alignment
If your score was in the “Good” range of 1-4 circles then your posture is either improving or worsening, depending on your activities. Keep in mind you should not be experiencing pain while doing this self-test. Pain is not normal and you should be evaluated by a professional if you are experiencing pain. This test should also not be used as a replacement for a professional evaluation and is only intended for informational purposes.
Check out more of our corrective exercises in the coming weeks.
*Dr. Rene Cailliet, ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rene_Cailliet ) emeritus professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, has written about the following effects of forward-head syndrome in his book Rejuvenation Strategy: