Most of us wince and have a reaction to the word “posture,” especially when we know our posture is not the best. We react by sitting up straighter and taller and fidgeting to alter our position, whether seated or standing. It’s a step in the right direction. We like the way we look with good posture, taller and more alert.
But why is it so difficult to stay that way? Does it really matter for our health or is it more akin to when parents tell a child not to make faces, so they do not get stuck like that?
How can you tell if you have bad posture?
Some of the early signs or poor posture habits are rounded shoulders and your head being forward. Typically, when people start to have hunching in the upper back and lower back, they already know their posture is poor. However, most individuals do not make a change until it’s causing more serious problems. Those can range from back and neck pain, headaches, sore achy muscles, shoulder problems and even breathing issues and poor circulation.
What causes poor posture?
Small injuries over time, or big injuries, whether recent or years past, all contribute to our posture being less than ideal. Other factors can be stress, weak muscles, sedentary work, repetitive work, heavy back packs, weight gain, pregnancy, and lifting and carrying things for long periods of time. Poor posture isn’t just a problem for adults; kids are even more prone in the age of cell phones and tablets to have poor posture that can accelerate the breakdown of their spine for years to come or even prevent it from developing properly in the first place.
Why is it so hard to maintain good posture?
Often people have some underlying injuries and habits that make a bad posture their normal. One of the main reasons people have a hard time improving their posture on their own is misalignments of the spine that prevent proper movement patterns of the joints and discs of the neck and back while also disrupting muscle strength and nerve signaling. Typically, conservative management is the best approach to fixing these misalignments.
Poor posture increases and accelerates the misalignment of our spine and dysfunction of our spine and nervous system. This means that without regular corrective adjustments, most activities become increasingly more difficult, requiring more energy and disrupting more and more of our possible best health. Digestion, breathing, sleep, numbness and tingling and arthritis symptoms are just a few of the things that improve consistently in people that work on their posture.
Chiropractic care is a great starting point, but usually more is needed to get our posture back. As there is no one answer for everyone’s poor posture, a well-rounded look at all the aspects is the most successful route. Exercise and rehabilitation are always part of the solution steps for people that get the best results. Impressively, this gets easier with the right stretches and proper alignment. The workload and effort we used to feel with the “posture” word triggering the straightening reaction gets easier to not only achieve but maintain. Muscle memory and habit take time to improve but it becomes easy when the body is working well.
Are you or a loved one is struggling with posture? Reach out to us to schedule an assessment for postural issues to avoid the progression of injuries. Early intervention can avoid worsening of the problem, which can take longer to fix.