As the mom of young children, I am frequently surprised by what I hear myself saying to my children:
“Stay out of the drain, please – the ninja turtles aren’t at home.”
“Please first take off the dirty socks before putting on the clean socks.”
But one thing that doesn’t surprise me hearing myself say as the stereotypical chiropractor mom is…
“Stand up straight! Sit up straight!”
Standing up straight is important for everyone, but at no time is it more crucial to develop the habits of good posture than in childhood. Many adults with chronic back pain can trace the problem to years of bad posture habits or injuries in childhood. Our modern lifestyles are increasingly leading to sedentary habits such as sitting at work/school, sitting in the car, and sitting at home relaxing. It is said that sitting is the new smoking. The unfortunate consequences of poor posture are negative effects to the proper functioning of your body. These could be: increased stress on ligaments, muscles, and bones; early degenerative changes; stress to organ functions affecting digestion, elimination, neurology, and breathing; and even jaw pain and depression.
A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. It can start with fatigue, tight and painful muscles in the neck and back, or joint stiffness in the spine and body. We frequently see people in our office who have been unaware of the slow decline of their posture until they begin to experience pains in their bodies. Our recommendations for home care typically involve some postural modifications, strengthening exercises, and movement awareness that are integral to regaining health.
Two Easy Posture Checks:
The Wall Test – Stand with the back of your head touching the wall and your heels six inches from the baseboard. With your buttocks touching the wall, check the distance with your hand between your lower back and the wall, and your neck and the wall.
The Mirror Test – Stand facing a full length mirror and check to see if:
Your shoulders are level, your head is straight, the spaces between your arms and sides seem equal, your hips are level, your ankles are straight.
Lifestyle Tips for Lifelong Good Posture
Maintain a healthy weight, exercise regularly, practice good ergonomics at work and at rest, ensure proper vision (a sign you need to have your eyes checked could be forward head posture to compensate).
The doctors and staff at Southern Oregon Sports and Spine specialize in low force chiropractic, massage, and rehabilitation. Each of us has different special interests and training. While I help many patients with the usual chiropractic aches and pains, I am particularly interested and thoroughly enjoy working with pregnant and pediatric populations.
You can learn more about the office at www.sosas.us.