How Chiropractic Corrects the Negative Effects of Poor Posture in Rochester MN
Take a moment to people-watch and you’ll definitely see some folks staring down at a hand-held device in their laps. Observe the position of their head and necks in Rochester MN.
Your head weighs about 10-12lbs, the same as a bowling ball. Its weight is designed to be carried over the shoulders, on the strong posterior of your vertebrae. For every inch forward you carry your head, the more weight it puts on your neck.
If your neck is at a 45* angle, your head weighs the equivalent of nearly 50lbs! Prolonged over time and repeated day after day, what effect do you think this has on the neck?
When viewed from the side, your neck should have a nice curve, like a backward banana. This allows for shock absorption and balances the weight of the head.
When we look at x-rays of people with forward head posture, or tech neck, we see the neck extended past the shoulders and sometimes even a reverse curve. The shoulders also become more rounded as the chin drops to the chest. This can cause premature degeneration and even arthritis in the neck in even teenagers.
Think about the uneven wear and tear on misaligned car tires. This is happening in to your vertebrae with poor posture.
When left unattended over the years, forward head carriage can cause a lot of damage. The younger we can address and correct it the better before permanent damage is done.
Studies Show Why Posture Matters in Rochester MN
While your mom may have told you to sit up straight as a kid or teen, the risks of slouching may not have been fully explained.
Researchers have found that forward head posture significantly decreased lung function. The reasons are two-fold.
First, the lungs are squished when you are slouched or hunched! In order to fully expand and function to their full capacity, these organs need to have space in the ribcage.
Second, poor posture leads to misalignments of the spine. The vertebrae are individual joints, designed to move while protecting the spinal cord. When the vertebrae shift or become restricted by repeated movements and postures, they can put pressure on the nerve roots that pass between the vertebrae. This is called a subluxation.
Nerves don’t work as well under pressure! When the thoracic vertebrae are subluxated, there’s interference in the communication between the organs and the brain.
A 2004 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society looked at older patients who had a “dowager’s hump” or a hyperkyphotic posture. They found there was an increased risk of heart disease, due to nerve pressure - the number one chronic disease in the USA!
Car Posture Matters Too
If you spend long hours driving, you’re probably already aware of how it affects your posture. Take a few moments when you sit down to adjust the seat and mirrors to a relaxed position without stretching or being cramped. Take anything out of your back pockets so your weight is evenly distributed on your hips.
While driving, regularly check your posture and release any tension, especially in your neck and shoulders. Keeping your head within 2 inches of the headrest will not only make sure that you’re sitting upright but also protect your neck from whiplash in the case of an accident.
If you have tension or stiffness in your neck, you may (or may not!) have realized how difficult it has become for you to merge into traffic and check your blind spots.
One benefit many people see while under chiropractic care is restored range of motion as restricted joints are once again able to move as intended. Patients often come in saying they can drive, merge and park more easily and safely now that they can turn their head again!
Can you think your way to better posture?
Being aware of how you are sitting, or how long you've been in one position, is definitely a great place to start. However, you eventually have to think about something else - work, family, traffic, projects.
This is why it's important to get checked by a chiropractor to reset your default. Improving your structure improves your function!
We recommend having kids checked and adjusted as needed to avoid poor posture from ever becoming an issue at all.
Get your spine evaluated! Come to Vitality Chiropractic, Rochester MN. Give us a call at (507) 208-4538 for an appointment, or get our new patient special at https://www.vitalityrochester.com/special
J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2017 May; 72(5): 689–694. Published online 2016 Jun 24. Severity of Kyphosis and Decline in Lung Function: The Framingham Study https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5964740/
Hyperkyphotic Posture Predicts Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Men and Women: A Prospective Study - October 2004Journal of the American Geriatrics Society https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8265363_Hyperkyphotic_Posture_Predicts_Mortality_in_Older_Community-Dwelling_Men_and_Women_A_Prospective_Study
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