Postural Rehabiliation in Dee Why – Treat it today!
We have specific spinal curves, resembling an “S” that allow us to stand upright; they act as shock absorbers against gravity and distribute force evenly throughout the spine. These curves allow optimal movement and prevention of spinal degeneration. Poor postural habits contribute to alterations in these curves resulting in muscular imbalances and poor posture. Anatomically we haven’t changed much since our late ancestors, however our lifestyles have changed dramatically. Do you find yourself slouching right now? Have you noticed the people on the bus looking down at their phone? These are examples of activities contribute to poor posture
What posture do you have?
The Effects of Poor Posture:
Poor posture increases stress on the spinal joints and the nervous system. Over time the increased load on the joints can manifest into painful conditions such as back pain with associated sciatica, headaches and herniated discs.
One of the most common conditions attributed to poor posture is muscle tightness and soreness. An example of this is that if you have a slouched posture, your head translates forward in relation to the rest of your body; the muscles in your neck and shoulder region have to work overtime to support your head and protect the spine. This leads to muscle fatigue and tightness that can manifest into a chronic condition.
When we have these nice smooth flowing spinal curves our vertebrae work in harmony, with minimal stress on the joints. When people think of posture they think of where their head is in relation to the shoulders. When we address posture we look at the spine as a whole. Any distortion away from the “neutral spine” will affect another region of your spine. Using the example previously, when the head is translated forward, the curves in the mid and low back will alter to compensate. Unfortunately this will lead to increased load on particular segments and potentially cause spinal degeneration and other painful conditions.
Another factor that people forget about when it comes to poor posture is the effect it has on their range of motion. When we have good posture our vertebra move effortlessly as anatomically they have a great relationship with each other. Changes in our curves alter the mechanical relationship these spinal segments have with each other resulting in a reduction in movement.
You can test this out on yourself right now:
- Flex your neck down so that it touches your chest
- Try and turn your head side to side, noting how far you can turn.
- Now repeat this in an upright position.
Note how much more motion you have in the upright position!
The most important take home message regarding posture is its relationship to the nervous system. The nervous system is responsible for every function in the human body; its what keeps us alive! The spine’s major role is to protect the nervous system. The spine houses the spinal cord, which then sends out nerves to supply specific organs and tissues. Changes in spinal curves can lead to increased tension on the spinal cord and nerves leading to a reduction of nerve flow sent out to the body. Spinal degeneration as a result of poor posture can result in conditions such as bulging discs protruding onto the spinal cord and arthritic bone spurs impinging on exiting spinal nerves causing conditions such as shooting pain into the limbs, muscle weakness and wasting.
We breakdown the areas that need to be addressed using an easy to understand posture photo. Incorporating specific in-clinic and home exercises with manual therapy to get you back to your best!
If you are concerned about your posture and want to improve your spinal health, contact us at our clinic TODAY!