If you are anything like many people, you have probably heard your parents or teachers remind you to ‘stand up straight’ or ‘don’t slouch’ countless times over the years. But how much does posture really matter?
Aside from improving your physical appearance, does the quality of your posture impact your general health or well-being? The answer is yes, posture significantly impacts your health.
In fact, many of the patients visiting our chiropractic clinic in Stoke on Trent have conditions that are either caused or worsened by poor posture.
To help you understand the importance of posture, this guide will explain what posture is, and why it matters
What Is Posture?
Posture refers to the way you position your body when standing, sitting, laying down, or performing movements like lifting, twisting, or bending.
To use ‘good posture’ means you are positioning yourself so the spine’s natural curves are maintained. When using good posture, there is also vertical alignment along the ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, when viewed from the side.
Being in this position ensures that your weight is evenly distributed across both feet. It also prevents an excessive amount of strain being placed on a particular muscle, ligament or joint.
When you use poor posture, your spine or joints will be in an awkward, unnatural position. This causes excessive strain on certain parts of the body, which can eventually cause injury or postural deformity.
Why Does Posture Go Bad?
Although most people assume that poor posture comes from a sedentary lifestyle, laziness, or poor habits, that is not always the case. Many of the patients visiting our Stoke chiropractors have poor posture caused by other reasons, including:
Poor muscle strength
Having weak muscles in one area of the body can throw your posture off significantly. In fact, we often see patients with weak abdominal muscles as a major contributing factor to their slouched shoulders or anterior pelvic tilt.
If you have inflexible muscles, it can reduce your normal range of motion, causing poor posture. For example, tight neck and shoulder muscles may cause forward head posture to occur. Fortunately, soft tissue therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy can correct inflexible muscles fairly easily.
Unfortunately, your family tree can also be a cause of poor posture. If this is the case for you, seek out treatment from a doctor or chiropractor. They will be able to provide a treatment plan which reduces the impact of your genetics on your posture.
Injury or disease
Injuries and diseases like arthritis can weaken parts of your body or cause pain which affects your posture.
Why Your Posture Matters
Here are just a few of the reasons why posture matters:
- Helps you avoid chronic postural deformities
Maintaining good posture helps you avoid conditions like sloped shoulders, forward head posture, and swayback. You can avoid the negative impact on your overall health and appearance caused by these problems.
- Better balance
Having good posture can dramatically improve your balance. This is a particularly important benefit for older people who are often injured by falls.
- Less risk of back pain
Poor posture is one of the most common causes of lower back pain. Improving your posture often dramatically reduces or eliminates this type of pain.
- Better sporting performance
When you are playing sports with good posture, your joints will be naturally aligned, improving your strength, balance, and endurance.
- Less risk of spinal deterioration
When you stand, sit, or move with good posture, there is less stress placed on your body. This will reduce the risk of premature degeneration of your bones, joints, and spinal discs.
- Improved digestion of food
If you have a postural problem like slumped shoulders, it can compress your abdominal region, placing pressure on the digestive organs. This can impair your body’s ability to digest food, leading to constipation or diarrhea.
- Easier breathing
The compression of the abdominal region also reduces the amount of space available for the lungs to move, making it harder to breathe. Once your posture has been corrected, you will find it easier to breathe in-and-out — which is particularly important for anyone with respiratory conditions like asthma.
- More energy
If you have well aligned joints, it becomes easier to move your body. This reduces the amount of energy you need each day, which can also reduce feelings of fatigue.
- Less risk of injury
The improved balance and smoother bodily movements provided by having good posture reduce the risk of an injury occurring.
- You look fantastic!
People with great posture look confident, attractive and assertive…
Visiting City Chiropractic Clinic in Stoke
As you can see, posture is very important for your overall health and well being. It improves your ability to be physically active, helps you avoid pain, and reduces the risk of degenerative conditions occurring.
When you visit our chiropractic clinic, in addition to neurological and orthopaedic examinations, we use the latest digital technology to accurately assess your posture. To have your chiropractor perform this powerful test, they simply take 2 photos of you, one from the front and one from the side.
These photos are then fed into the computer and just a few moments later, the computer uses some sophisticated maths to accurately evaluate your posture and calculates if any extra pressure is being placed on your spine due to your posture.
Your chiropractor will go through the analysis at your next appointment along with their other findings. We are the only Chiropractic Clinic in Staffordshire to use Digital Posture Pro.
If your posture is a concern to you or you are suffering back pain or discomfort, our chiropractors are here to help you. You can book an appointment with one of our chirorpactors by calling our clinic on 01782 848 184 or you can book an appointment online on our website here.