Improve Your Life With Proper Posture
Not only does good posture make you look more confident, but it is certainly better for your overall health. Back pain is the second most common reason for doctor visits, and a fourth of those with back pain have herniated discs which can be caused by bad posture. At South Main Chiropractic in Alpharetta, we see this condition quite frequently. Although it can be unpleasant to live with, all hope is not lost.
So what is good posture?
Good posture is the “neutral” position that the spine holds while standing, sitting, sleeping and walking. This position engages all the muscles that support the spine, putting equal pressure on them rather than extra pressure on only a few of them. Good posture keeps the vertebrae in line, promotes good circulation, and keeps pressure off the internal organs. Did you ever think about how sitting in a slumped position smashes your internal organs, interrupting digestion and breathing?
Here’s a few checkpoints to be sure you are using proper posture:
It is best to sit upright, with both feet flat on the floor. Your back should touch the back of the chair, and a support pillow in the curve of your lower spine is helpful. Your head should be in position to look forward, rather than bent downward, which puts stress on your neck.
If you sleep on your side, a good pillow is essential to keep your shoulder from rolling forward which puts stress on the neck. A small pillow between the knees will better align your hips for good sleep posture. Your knees should be bent slightly, and it’s best not to sleep with your arm under the pillow.
A good standing position keeps pressure off of the spine in a few different ways. The pelvis area should not jut forward or back, but be in a neutral position so that the lumbar spine is maintained in its normal curve. To maintain the proper curve in the upper back, your head needs to be aligned above your shoulders, rather than bent forward creating a hunchback appearance. Your knees should be slightly bent rather than “locked”. Standing flat on both feet with your weight evenly distributed prevents undue pressure on the hips and lower spine as well.
Walk proud! Head held high, shoulders straight and back in the same position as mentioned for standing give you a strong, confident and healthy posture. Be sure to keep the head up, rather than looking down, to keep pressure off the neck and upper spine.
Sometimes, no matter what you do, your posture is a little off. A curvature of the spine, or an anatomical deficit in the length of a bone can cause this. While there are some corrections that can help compensate for anatomical abnormalities, a chiropractor would need to diagnose these from x-ray and prescribe the proper course of action.
Chiropractic care is a natural form of health care that works with your body’s natural healing process to correct misalignments of the spine. At South Main Chiropractic, we believe everyone can benefit from chiropractic care.