Ever wonder why proper posture is so important? San Francisco chiropractor, Dr. Adam Jacobs, explains how correct spinal posture can prevent a variety of potential problems and improve your overall health.
Let’s admit that we all are guilty of neglecting the importance of good posture in our overall health, time and time again! We all are repetitively at fault when sitting in an office chair, sleeping and so on. While the side effects may not be visible initially, a bad posture definitely takes a toll on our overall health.
Proper posture is as important as eating a nutritious diet. In fact, at our San Francisco chiropractic offices, we often tell our patients that perfect posture trains your body to place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movements or daily activities. It helps maintain the wellness of the nervous system and the spine.
Why having a proper posture is so necessary?
Besides presenting a good appearance, there are various advantages of a good posture. These are:
- Prevents the spine from getting fixed or stuck in abnormal positions.
- Lowers the stress on the ligaments that holds the spinal joints together
- Maintains the correct alignment of the bones plus joints for the proper use of muscles and nervous system
- Reduces the abnormal wearing of the surfaces of joints that may cause arthritis.
- Prevents backaches as well as muscular pain
- Opens up the lungs for allowing more oxygen supply inside the body that moves into the muscle and brain cells and augments your overall energy level.
Keeping a good posture means maintaining an alignment of every body part with its adjacent parts. A proper posture restores the balance and support of all parts. When standing, your exact standing posture should look similar to sketching a straight line from the earlobe, over the shoulder, knee, hip and right into the middle of the ankle.
However, what actually happens if you fail to flaunt a proper posture? Let’s find out.
How bad posture might interfere with your health?
One of the most serious problems involving bad posture can be developing a kyphosis or scoliosis spinal curvature which slowly impacts the spine to alter its normal positions. The human spine has four natural curves that create an “S” shape in the coronal plane. Too much curve in the mid back can lead to a condition called hyperkyphosis, or a buffalo hump. Too much curve laterally in the sagittal plane can lead to scoliosis. Since bad posture alters the spinal alignment, the resulting motions are negatively affected leading to subluxations that result in less blood supply and altered nervous system response.
Bad posture leads to serious problems within the skeletal system as skeletons are the support system of our entire body. Slouching or slanted postures lead to rib compression and curving of the spine. The rigidity of the rib cage makes your lungs to not expand fully. This leads to a lack of oxygen supply that impacts your entire body’s systems.
The cervical spine or neck tends to feel the burden from bad posture first. Neck pain leads to tension that radiates lower to the shoulders and upwards causing headaches. Our muscular system works in tandem with the skeletal system to facilitate movement and posture. It helps us to maintain our body positions against the force of gravity and allows us to generate movements.
· Posture and your digestive system
Ever thought that a bad posture can impact your digestive system? Well, yes, it can! An imperfect posture accompanied by a lack of exercise and, in some instances, obesity can weaken the stomach muscles that generally hold the pelvis in its exact position. Weak muscles denote that the pelvis is tilted forward which aggravates poor posture and causes pain while standing erect.
An abnormal slouched posture has been found to be a contributing factor to digestive issues like acid reflux or hernias. The most convenient way to strengthen the abdominal muscles and provide back support is through perfect posture.
· Posture and your cardiovascular health
Your breathing becomes easier and deeper with good posture. You will feel less fatigued as a good posture gives you higher oxygen levels and greater energy boost.
With all that being said, how would you know what a proper posture is? Let’s find out.
How should the proper posture look like?
· The proper sitting posture
A good sitting posture comprises of an erect spine and head with the maintenance of the three natural back curves. A slumped sitting posture and a slouched position with head forward reflect a bad posture.
While sitting in an office chair, keep your back aligned against the office chair back. For lengthy sitting make sure that the chair is ergonomically crafted to provide back support and is custom fit. We also recommend Intelliskin (which can be purchase through our shop page) if you find it hard to have good posture on your own while sitting at your desk.
· The proper standing posture
Always stand with your weight placed mostly on the balls of your feet and not on the heels. It is highly recommended to position your feet slightly apart, approximately at shoulder-width. Let your arms hang naturally down adjacent to your body. Always stand straight and tall with your shoulders upright and refrain from locking the knees.
Tuck a bit your chin to maintain the head level and make sure that the head is square above the spine and not pushed out ahead. If you are standing for a lengthy period, then rotate your weight from one foot to the other or move from heels to toes. While standing it is important to keep your ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles in a vertical line. Generally, by raising your chin up you help to resolve standing postural problems.
· The best posture for your knees
A proper knee posture safeguards your thigh and lower leg bones. While sitting keep your knees bent at a right angle slightly above than the hips. Your ankles should be placed slightly ahead of your knees. While driving also, your knees should be slightly higher compared to your hips.
How to determine if you have a good posture?
Simply, have a self-examination called ‘mirror exam.’ Stand in front of a full-length mirror and observe whether:
- Your shoulders are at level and your head is straight.
- Your hips are level and your kneecaps face directly ahead and you have straight ankles.
- Also, see that the spaces between your arms and side appear equal.
- Ideally aligned feet and ankles would face forward instead of turning inward or outward.
Various integrative therapies are also employed to reduce pain through healthy posturing. The Gokhale method created by Esther Gokhale employs the procedure of perfect posture and movement to eradicate back, muscle or joint pain and return back to a pain-free life. It also helps you to tackle muscle and joint degeneration and augments your stamina and flexibility. The tools help you to regain your natural posture.
Over to You – Is it times to schedule an appointment with a local San Francisco chiropractor?
We hope that the above-mentioned points were successful in letting you know the importance of a good posture. It is thus highly recommended to visit a chiropractor if you spot any posture issues. If you are in the greater San Francisco Bay Area and would like to book and appointment with one of our specialists, contact us here .