Bad Posture: How bad is it?

Postural screening is most likely performed on every new patient in every chiropractic office across the world. I may be making some big assumptions but my point is, chiropractors think posture is important. So… is it? I would argue that correct posture is one of the more important aspects of our whole body health.

 

Bad Posture shown by Barack Obama
Forward head posture commonly leads to a loss of your cervical curve

Bad posture can be very revealing as to the problems patients may be feeling in their body. Notice I used the word “body” and not just “back”.  Bad posture can affect our bodies in ways not completely obvious. Hands, arms, legs, thighs, feet, knees, face, head, shoulders. I’m just skimming the surface here.

Posture is such a broad and huge topic, we will cover aspects here and there as I come up with ideas to write about in this blog. We can talk about posture related to standing, sleeping, driving, playing sports, texting, office work… Should I keep going?

Bad posture while texting
Just look at that posture. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Does this look familiar? Common activities in our lives (computer, TV, texting, studying/reading) lead to forward head posture. Dr. Pettibon, a leader in posture and scoliosis correction in chiropractic, teaches that forward head posture commonly leads to a loss of your cervical (neck) curve. Your head is heavy. When it sits directly above your neck, the weight sits peacefully on the bones and things work well. When your head is held forward, it takes more muscle energy to hold your head upright. This pulls on your mid back, and neck. Often this leaves us feeling tight in our upper back and neck muscles.

A lot of this information is old news.  Even Forbes has articles on how texting can lead to neck pain.

So what can you do?  Some simple ideas include:

  • Try and hold your phone up to eye level instead of looking down at it.
  • Position your computer monitor closer to eye level so you avoid leaning forward.
  • Take “posture breaks” where you stand up and stretch for 15-30 seconds every hour.
  • Visit your chiropractor for a postural screening and tips on how to correct bad posture.

Dr. Chris Cooper is a Portland chiropractor who performs posture screenings at little or no cost.  Mention this blog post for a free posture screening consultation.  Request an appointment or call (503) 257-1324

Resources:
http://pettibonsystem.com/about/how-pettibon-works
http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2013/06/07/how-texting-can-give-you-a-permanent-pain-in-the-neck/
Image credit: http://robertcargill.com/2011/10/11/where-shall-the-bloggers-congregate-at-sbl-in-sf/

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