You may not know it, but the way you carry yourself as you walk around your home or sit at your work desk can have a major effect on your health. Poor posture can have potentially lifelong effects.
One of the best ways to improve your posture is with an objective examination from a posture expert. In other words, from a chiropractor. There are several ways a chiropractic specialist can help your current posture and make it easier for you to stay healthy and pain-free.
Causes of Poor Posture
Before we get down to brass tacks about why you should see a chiropractor for posture, you might want to know a bit more about what leads to poor posture in the first place.
Arguably the biggest culprit is gravity itself. As you sit at your computer or stand in one place all day, gravity makes it all too easy for you to crane your neck forward, slump your shoulders, and arch your spine for hours on end.
Apart from the simple reality of gravity, your bad posture might also be caused by a previous injury (e.g. whiplash from a car wreck), a recent sickness, stress-related muscle strain, or even your genetic makeup. Your standing or walking posture might also be negatively affected by the shoes you wear, and your sitting posture could be made worse by something as simple as keeping a wallet in your back pocket.
Even sleep has its own forms of correct vs. incorrect posture, meaning that sleeping in the wrong position night after night can also put excess strain on your joints.
How Can a Chiropractic Adjustment Help Your Posture?
Among other things, licensed chiropractors are joint experts. That means they know how to identify abnormalities in your posture, such as slumped shoulders, as well as how those issues can affect your overall spinal health.
Apart from identification, chiropractors also have multiple techniques to alleviate pain caused by poor posture while also correcting your posture and setting you up for lifelong wellness.
Visual and Physical Examination
First off, a chiropractor can help you by performing a full, top-to-bottom examination of your spine. This includes asking questions about your current lifestyle habits (e.g. work duties, exercise routines, daily amounts of strenuous activity), gauging your typical level of back pain, and physically observing your posture from standing and sitting positions.
This multifaceted examination will allow your chiropractor to determine just how poor your posture is by taking into account your daily habits, lack of bodily symmetry (e.g. shoulder pain caused by one shoulder being higher than the other), arching in your back, spinal misalignments, and more.
Once the chiropractor has determined the root cause of your spinal issues, he or she can get to work correcting it in a natural, safe, and gentle fashion. The primary way chiropractors do so is through adjustments, also known as spinal manipulations.
During this process, chiropractors use one of several means (such as an integrator tool) to deliver an exact, sudden thrust to any misaligned vertebrae or other joints. By performing adjustments to specific areas that may be contributing to your poor posture, a chiropractor can return your back to a neutral spine position. Proper alignment makes it easier to develop a healthy posture.
In addition, chiropractic adjustments can provide both short- and long-term pain relief, which can also make developing and maintaining excellent posture more feasible.
In addition to working directly on areas affected by joint pain and restoring regular alignment in the spine, chiropractors can also work to relieve stress and tension in your soft tissue, such as ligaments and tendons.
When your muscles are under a lot of strain, the fibers that make up those overactive muscles can develop hardened tension points known as “knots” or “trigger points.” Your connective tissue can also be negatively affected by stress and tension.
By employing muscle releases, trigger point therapy, and similar techniques, your chiropractor can fix some of the postural imbalances that may be caused by issues in your soft tissue and tight muscles. This postural muscle relaxation should make it easier and more comfortable for you to sit or stand with proper posture for longer periods.
Stretches and Lifestyle Changes
Finally, a chiropractor can aid your posture by both performing and teaching you stretches and strength-building exercises that you can do on your own at home. Stretches will help reduce the tension that has built up in your muscles, as well as give you greater mobility and range of motion.
Deliberate exercises, meanwhile, will cause your weak muscles and connective tissues to become better at maintaining correct posture throughout your daily life. Stronger, more flexible muscles are better able to hold the right position to keep your spine (from your lower back all the way up to your neck) in its correct alignment. Stronger muscles also decrease your likelihood of injury in the future.
Your chiropractor should be able to provide plenty of at-home stretches for you to try between chiropractic appointments. Some of these may be taken from Pilates or yoga and may involve an element of balance. You may also receive advice on how to remain aware of your posture throughout the day so that you can correct any problems that you might have with standing or sitting up straight.
A good chiropractor who is interested in promoting a holistic view of health can also advise you on the best footwear to keep pressure off of your spine (e.g. avoiding high-heeled shoes), good ways to stay active, and ways to incorporate more movement and robust activity throughout your day.
Contact Cornerstone Chiropractic Today to Schedule an Appointment
Looking for a care provider who can help you achieve whole-life health and wellness? Contact the experts at Cornerstone Chiropractic to learn how their neurological-based care can fix your posture, improve your mobility, enhance your quality of life, and more!