Growing up, your mom probably scolded you for not standing up straight – and you most likely rolled your eyes. Well, it turns out your mom was right; our posture when we are growing up can shape our adult bodies. We have all seen people who walk down the street with their shoulders curled forward, their back bent, and their head down. This kind of bad posture is often from years of standing and sitting incorrectly, to the point that the muscles and joints are no longer holding the body optimally. This can lead to many health problems, and cause a lot of pain.
What Is Good Posture?
Most people can recognize bad posture when they see it. It looks awkward, less confident, and can appear painful. Yet many people do not know what good posture actually looks like. Good posture is when the body is completely aligned and all the muscles and ligaments are not put under stress.
Good posture does not just mean standing straight. The ideal posture is when your spine is neutral, which means that the three curves of the spine are in alignment. Your head should be above your shoulders, and your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Your shoulders should be over your hips, your stomach tucked in, and your knees slightly bent.
Health Benefits and Risks
Your posture can greatly affect your overall health, especially your muscle and joint health. Poor posture can cause back, neck, and shoulder pain, affect joint mobility and flexibility, and make it difficult to digest food and even breathe. Conversely, having good posture helps prevent arthritis, allows muscles to work more efficiently, saves energy, prevents strain and pain, and reduces the likelihood of injury.
Can a Chiropractor Fix Bad Posture?
Thankfully, chiropractors can help you achieve the correct posture that will keep your muscles and joints healthy. Chiropractors can do a spinal assessment, which can help them understand your problem areas and what parts of your posture are causing your problems. After the assessment, the chiropractor can show you the correct positions your body should be in when lying down, sitting, and standing. They may even show you exercises you can do to strengthen your core muscles. Finally, they can do adjustments to keep you aligned and maintain these corrections.
The worse your posture problems are, the longer it will take to fix the issue, but it will get progressively better over time. Your body will become accustomed to the new positions, and your muscles and ligaments will eventually fall into the proper posture. Going to the chiropractor to address your incorrect posture can save you from pain and injury, and keep you looking and feeling better in the long run.