May is Posture Month! As a chiropractic professionals, we like to educate the public on the importance of having good posture.
Below is some great information about posture from the American Chiropractic Association.
Why is good posture important?
Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities.
- Helps keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and pain.
- Reduces the stress on ligaments holding the spinal joints together, and minimizing risk of injury.
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
- Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.
To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine.
Consequences of Poor Posture
Poor posture can lead to excessive strain on our postural muscles and may even cause them to relax, when held in certain positions for long periods of time. For example, you can typically see this in people who bend forward at the waist for a prolonged time in the workplace. Their postural muscles are more prone to injury and back pain.
Several factors contribute to poor posture–most commonly, stress, obesity, pregnancy, weak postural muscles, abnormally tight muscles, and high-heeled shoes. In addition, decreased flexibility, incorrect working posture, and unhealthy sitting and standing habits can also contribute to poor posture.
Can I correct my posture?
In a word, yes. Remember, however, that long-standing postural problems will typically take longer to address than short-lived ones, as often the joints have adapted to your long-term poor posture.
Conscious awareness of your own posture and knowing what posture is correct will help you correct yourself. With much practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture. This, in turn, will help you move toward a better and healthier body posture.
A Chiropractor can assist you with proper posture, including recommending exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles. The doctor can also assist you with choosing proper postures during your activities, helping reduce your risk of injury.