Your posture is a window to the structure of your spine and function of your nervous system. Good posture is evident when there is good alignment and position of the spine and the brain is relaying proper information without interference. Maintaining good posture involves your central nervous system communicating freely how to move your body and position yourself where the least strain is placed on bones, joints and soft tissues. With subluxation (nerve interference) you lose the ability to position the body properly; simply you have lost your brain-body vital connection. This is evident with poor posture bio-mechanics such as head tilt, a low shoulder, low pelvis; any one or combination of these can result in, low back, hip and knee problems.
At Atlas Family Chiropractic, we perform posture analysis and re-check the changes with progress exams. Neurologically based chiropractic reconnects your brain’s involuntary posturing center to your body, correcting postural distortions. Dr. Glen Johanson’s care is very unique; one aspect being is that it is done seated, the gentle low force adjustments are the most effective delivered in the this position. Most people spend their day erect, this is called the “position of subluxation”, when adjustments are given in this position the results are more dramatic.
“The beginning of the disease process begins with postural distortions.” (Dr. Hans Selye, Nobel Laureate) Poor posture has been correlated to the following health conditions: decreased life span (up to 14 years), headaches, chronic fatigue, neck and back pain, increased blood pressure, digestive problems, problems sleeping, circulatory problems, respiratory issues, increase in falls, vertigo/dizziness, attention/concentration problems, muscle fatigue, decrease in overall health, spinal degeneration, arthritis, herniated discs, sciatica, knee and ankle problems, carpal tunnel and plantar fasciitis.
Posture Checklist – Good Voluntary Habits
Standing position: it is impossible to have good posture if you have subluxation (nerve interference). Have a postural evaluation performed by a chiropractor to determine if you have postural distortions due to subluxation. Once you have had neurological posture correction your body will automatically position better while standing. Remember practice positive posture by keeping your shoulders back but relaxed, keep equal weight on both feet which are about shoulder width apart, hang your hands naturally by your sides, head in an upright neutral position.
Sitting position: choose a chair that allows you to rest both feet flat on the floor while keeping your knees level with your hips. If necessary, prop up your feet with a footstool or other support.
Ø Keep a straight back, maintaining all three natural curves in the spine (don’t be a turtle!)
Ø Distribute weight evenly on both hips
Ø Keep head and neck aligned over shoulders
Ø Sit back in a chair – the back should be supported by the seat back
Ø Adjust chair so that the hips are slightly higher than the knee
Ø Support feet on the floor or a footrest
Ø Avoid being seated for long periods of time; move around at least once every hour
Ø Do not twist or bend back from a seated position
Sleeping position; we spend at least 1/3 of our life in bed. Therefore, the correct position while sleeping is essential in protecting the spine. The best position during sleep is with the spine in a neutral and natural position. We don’t want the curves of the spine to be exaggerated with an increased curve, or a flattened curve. By maintaining proper curvature of the spine while sleeping we reduce the pressure on the spine and the vertebral discs. It is also important to have a correct mattress and pillow that is comfortable while sleeping. You do not want one that is too firm or too soft. Try several options to determine the correct comfort level for you before purchasing a new mattress. The best position to sleep is on one’s side, with a pillow supporting the neck so that the spine remains in a straight line, and with a cushion between the legs/knees. By keeping the spine straight during sleeping it reduces the tension of the muscles connecting to the spine, allowing for a more relaxing and refreshing sleep. If you sleep on your back, use a small pillow to support the curve in your neck. Never sleep on your stomach!
Good Posture: What can it do for you? There are many health benefits associated with having good posture, also a spike in self-esteem and self-image, reduced negative mood and increase in positivity!
Regular chiropractic check-ups to ensure a good vital brain-body connection and practice positive posture throughout your day.
Case Studies: The following are postural changes noted in Livio a 3 year old boy and Edith a 86 year old women.
Livio, a 3 year old boy presented with not be able to sleep through the night. After four weeks of neurological based chiropractic, his left head tilt corrected and his shoulder heights leveled. His anterior head posture also reduced from 3 inches to 1 inch. He also started sleeping through the night and his hyperactivity decreased considerably.
Edith, a 86 year old women, presented with severe back pain. After 6 weeks of care her shoulders leveled and her right body shift corrected to midline. She also initially had 6.5 inches of anterior head posture which reduced by 2.5 inches. Edith reported her back pain decreased from 9/10 to a more manageable 1/10 in the level of severity.