Many of the people visiting our chiropractic clinic in Ealing for the first time are suffering back pain. They are looking for pain relief and a solution to the pain they are experiencing and the impact it is having on their life.
For some of these patients, their poor posture is a contributing factor to their back problems. It often comes as surprise to them that their posture is having such an affect on their back health.
They are often unaware of the overall importance of posture for maintaining good health, particularly when it comes to the spine. There are actually several health conditions which are caused by or worsened by postural issues, ranging from minor digestive problems through to spinal dysfunction.
In this post, our Ealing chiropractor shares some information about the importance of good posture to your health, particularly the health of your back and explain how obtaining chiropractic treatments can help.
Posture is the way you hold your body. Having “good posture” or a “neutral spine” means you are positioned in a way that maintains the three natural curves present in a healthy spine.
While in a natural position, there is alignment between the position of the head and the hips. It also means there isn’t excessive strain on any particular muscle or joint. Instead, the body is balanced and any load is shared evenly across muscles and joints.
“Poor posture“ occurs when the body is placed in an unnatural position. While in this position, certain muscles will become very tight, while others are completely relaxed. Eventually, this causes the frequently used muscles to shorten, while the less used muscles become weak. When this occurs, long-term postural issues such as forward head posture can occur.
To provide a quick example of how poor posture develops, sitting in a slumped position is considered poor posture because the head is usually in front of the body, the neck is leaning forward, and the shoulders come forward. Additional strain is placed on the shoulders, while the upper back muscles are barely used. Spending too much time in this position can cause long-term postural issues.
How Can Poor Posture Impact Your Health? Our Ealing Chiropractor Explains
Poor posture can have a surprisingly significant impact on your health. While posture mostly affects the health of the spine, it can also have some unexpected repercussions on other parts of the body, including the digestive organs and the brain.
The health problems most often associated with poor posture include:
Back Pain Caused By Muscular Tension
Back pain is one of the most common reason why patients with bad posture seek out chiropractic care. Bad posture can place excessive strain on back muscles, which leads to tension and pain. Chiropractors usually recommend a combination of soft tissue therapy, lifestyle adjustments, and physical exercises to deal with back pain caused by muscle tension.
In severe cases, posture can begin to affect the spine’s position. It can change the natural S-curve of the spine and also affect how straight the spine is. Having a misaligned spine can cause a variety of problems including severe pain, nerve dysfunction, and impaired mobility.
Poor posture may cause certain joints in the spine to shift in position. This can lead to the bones in the spine coming in direct contact with nerves. This condition can cause a significant amount of pain and affect your mobility.
Hip, Knee, or Ankle Pain
Aside from damaging your back, poor posture can place the lower half of your body into awkward positions. Eventually, this can impact the tendons and ligaments in your hips, knees, and ankles — causing tightness and pain.
Tension in the shoulders and neck can lead to painful tension headaches. These headaches are usually long-lasting and may be difficult to deal with.
Sitting in a slouched position after eating can place pressure on the digestive organs. This can lead to a variety of digestive problems including heartburn, slowed digestion and constipation.
Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
Forward head posture is one of the most common complications associated with poor posture. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome can occur when forward head posture becomes severe and begins to restrict nerves and blood vessels. It causes a variety of symptoms including poor circulation, tingling, and numbness in the upper chest
Having poor posture in the lumbopelvic area can lead to a condition called pelvic floor dysfunction.
Stress and Anxiety
The pain and soreness caused by poor posture can also impact your mental health by causing stress and anxiety.
Poor posture can affect the alignment of your joints. If you have arthritis, poor posture can exacerbate symptoms.
Having poor posture forces certain parts of your body to work harder than normal. In addition to causing muscle soreness, this effect can trigger fatigue.
Lower Self Esteem
Many people with poor posture feel unhappy with the appearance of their body, which affects their confidence and self esteem.
How Our Ealing Chiropractor Can Help Improve Posture
Our Chiropractors use a holistic approach when treating poor posture. They start by assessing the condition of the patient’s musculoskeletal system to determine the health of their joints and overall quality of their posture.
Next, they ask several questions about the patient’s overall health and lifestyle. This helps them determine the root cause of postural issues.
Finally, they recommend a treatment plan. This usually involves a combination of chiropractic treatments, lifestyle changes, and physical therapy. This can lead to dramatic improvements in the quality of a patient’s posture and helps them avoid the health complications listed in this article.
To find out how our chiropractors at The Spine & Joint Centre in Ealing can help you call 020 8900 9004.