Everyone’s body requires proper support and stability to avoid injury or musculoskeletal complaints. Age, body type, injury history, activity level, and routines of daily living all may be factors that affect posture and stability. No one knows more about the ways poor body mechanics and positioning affect your overall health than your doctor of chiropractic.
Chiropractors specialize in conservative management of spinal conditions, and chiropractic therapy involves much more than adjustive procedures. Your doctor of chiropractic can offer postural advice, reflex techniques, exercise, diet supplementation, exercise and stretching instruction, and socio-occupational advice based on your lifestyle.
Combining these aspects of care can improve your posture and body biomechanics, which can improve daily function.
Benefits of Good Posture
Causes of Poor Posture
A Guide to Better Posture
Whether you sit a lot throughout the day or find yourself uncomfortable when standing, here are some simple considerations that may help in improving your posture. The better your posture habits, the less stress placed on your body throughout the day.
1. Try to stay symmetrical.
Whether you are standing, sitting, or being active, attempting to keep your body symmetrical may aid in helping reduce your risk of back pain. To decrease the stress on your body, make a deliberate effort to not place too much weight on one side or over-extend to one side or the other.
According to one study, “movement asymmetry, rather than range of motion, may be a better indicator of disturbed function for people with LBP (low back pain).”
2. When seated, use a lumbar support/roll.
Maintaining a proper lumbar curvature that supports the body can be an important factor in maintaining good posture when seated. A lumbar support or roll of some sort can help to maintain the lordotic curvature of the lumbar spine while in sitting positions.
Another study, comparing the effects of different seated postures, demonstrated how those using a lumbar roll to maintain a normal curvature noticed a reduction in low back and leg pain.
3. Be aware of your posture and incorporate stretching/strengthening into your daily routine.
Anterior head carriage ‑ meaning the head tilts forward at an unnatural angle ‑ may affect your center of gravity, which affects your body’s ability to maintain proper posture and stability.
Often referred to as “text neck,” a forward head tilt can result from spending a lot of time at a computer, looking downward when using a cell phone to send text messages, and poor posture while watching television or playing video games.
A study on the effects of stretching and strengthening on forward head posture showed that a “cervical and thoracic stretching and strengthening exercise program can improve spinal posture alignment for decreasing forward head posture.”
4. Don’t sit or stand too long in one position.
Regardless of your posture, standing or sitting for too long at one time can increase your chance of back complaints. Research shows that alternating between standing and sitting periodically can help prevent “the malignant effects of prolonged static sitting.”
As a general rule, those with desk jobs should stand up and move once every hour. A routine of movement during the day helps maintain mobility in your joints and tissues and may have a positive effect on your cardiovascular health as well.
Your Chiropractor is Ready to Help
Your doctor of chiropractic can assist you in conservative (non-pharmaceutical) management of acute or long-standing neck and back pain that may be caused by poor posture over the years. If that’s you, ask about exercises and body positioning tips as part of your chiropractic treatment plan.
CUKC Chiropractic Health Center
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), founded in 1922, is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health science-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas. The CUKC on-campus Chiropractic Health Center is open to the public and treats patients from Kansas City’s 15-county metro area. Our goal is to provide care and solutions for a better, more productive life for our patients.