Posture is the window to the spine
Good posture is important because it helps your body function at top speed. It promotes movement efficiency and endurance and contributes to an overall feeling of well-being. Good posture is also good prevention.
If you have poor posture, your bones are not properly aligned, and your muscles, joints, and ligaments take more strain than nature intended.
Faulty posture may cause you fatigue, muscular strain, and, in later stages, pain. Many individuals with chronic back pain can trace their problems to years of faulty postural habits. In addition, research has demonstrated that poor posture can affect the position and function of your vital organs, particularly those in the abdominal region. Studies have linked poor posture to a decreased life expectancy, increase in heart problems as well as lowered energy levels.
Good posture also contributes to good appearance; the person with good posture projects poise, confidence, and dignity.
Better than 90% of the brain's output is directed towards maintaining your body in its gravitational field. Therefore, the less energy one spends on one's posture, the more energy is available for healing, digestion, and thinking.
— Roger W. Sperry, Nobel laureate, 1981
The Anatomy of Good Posture
To have good posture, it is essential that your back, muscles, and joints be in tip-top shape.
Your Back. A healthy back has three natural curves: a slight forward curve in the neck (cervical curve), a slight backward curve in the upper back (thoracic curve), and a slight forward curve in the low back (lumbar curve). Good posture actually means keeping these three curves in balanced alignment.
Your Muscles. Strong and flexible muscles also are essential to good posture. Abdominal, hip, and leg muscles that are weak and inflexible cannot support your back’s natural curves.
Your Joints. Hip, knee, and ankle joints balance your back’s natural curves when you move, making it possible to maintain good posture in any position.
Tips for Maintaining Good Posture Throughout Your Life:
1. Throughout each day, concentrate on keeping your three natural back curves in balanced alignment.
2. Get checked by a chiropractor and recieve regular wellness adjustments
3. Keep your weight down; excess weight exerts a constant forward pull on the back muscles and stretches and weakens muscles in the abdomen.
4. Avoid staying in one position for long periods of time; inactivity causes muscle tension and weakness.
5. Sleep on a firm mattress and use a pillow under your head just big enough to maintain the normal cervical—neck—curve. Avoid use of oversized or several pillows.
6. Exercise regularly; exercise promotes strong and flexible muscles that keep you upright in a proper postural position.
7. Protect your back by using good body mechanics; bend your knees when picking something up or putting it down; carry a heavy object by using two hands and keeping the load close to your waist.
8. Wear comfortable and well-supported shoes. Avoid continuous use of high-heeled or platform shoes, which distort the normal shape of the foot and throw the back’s natural curves out of alignment.
9. Walk with good posture; keep head erect with chin parallel to the ground, allow arms to swing naturally, and keep feet pointed in the direction you are going.
«Falls, illnesses, psychological stress, even the way children copy their parents, all leave a mark in the body’s structure. If you structure is out of alignment, you are out of alignment with gravity and your body is simply incapable of producing maximum energy output». Ida Rolf, Ph.D.
«For every inch of forward head posture, it can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds.» Kapandji, Physiology of Joints, Vol 3.
«Loss of the cervical curve stretches the spinal cord 5-7 cm and causes Disease.». Dr. Alf Breig, Neurosurgeon (Nobel Prize Recipient).
«Forward head posture leads to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.». The Mayo Clinic, Nov. 3rd, 2000.
«90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine» Dr. Roger Sperry, (Nobel Prize Recipient for Brain Research).
Additionally, Dr. Sperry demonstrated that 90% of the energy output of the brain is used in relating the physical body to gravity. Only 10% has to do with thinking, metabolism, and healing, so when you have forward head posture your brain will rob energy from your thinking, metabolism, and immune function to deal with abnormal gravity/posture relationships and processing.
If you want to improve your posture and your quality of life, contact us for an appointment at Punt Vital Quiropràctic.