Posture Poster

Posture Chiropractor Seattle Washington


Dr. Cody Drake – Lake Union Wellness

If you’ve ever had a family dinner, at some point your parents have exclaimed “Sit up straight! Elbows off the table!” Amiright?!

I am – and so were they.

What they are referring to is your posture. Proper posture is one of those things that is so rare these days that when you see it, it is extremely noticeable.

Conversely, when you see bad posture, it also is noticeable in a negative way.

So how do you know if your posture is good? Why is it so important? Why should I care? These are all questions you might ask yourself. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place – because I’ll tell you!

First, think of your body in architectural terms. There is a proper blueprint to the shape of your spine just as there is a proper blueprint to a building, bridge, etc. When these blueprints adhere to everything is strong and stable, but when they are not, catastrophe can happen. In your spine, your “center of gravity”, lines up the key points of your cervical, thoracic, lumbar, and pelvic areas. When those key areas are aligned your body’s weight and stress distribution are smooth and equal. When they are misaligned, your spine adds compression in areas that it shouldn’t, and your muscles must work harder to do their jobs of stabilization and movement.

That is the first sign of bad posture; muscle strain and fatigue. Instead of being nice and calm and working like a bungee cord (contract and relax) your muscles are now becoming more like telephone cables i.e. consistently tethered and rigid. Therefore, consistent bad posture creates a positive feedback loop of tightness, aching, and pain syndromes.

At this stage people tend to utilize massage therapy as a pain relief method. However, this tends to be cyclic as it does not address the underlying cause and only acts merely to give relief.

Long-term signs are progression of further aching and strain in the muscles. Most commonly neck and shoulders, mid to upper back. Now in this stage add inability to sit upright for prolonged periods of time. Once this happens, the poor posture has been going on for enough time that your brain and body have reshaped. Cognitively are now trained to keep you into that position and thus sitting upright is becoming an effort and fatigues quickly.

At that point I would suggest seeing a chiropractor who specializes in biophysics (CBP) – and I know where you can find a few. Likely your spine has progressed and reshaped outside of that proper blueprint and more likely than not, is causing and progressing your symptoms.

Doing a posture analysis with structural x-rays would objectively define where-you-are with where-you-should-be. The CBP chiropractor will formulate a plan to get you back to your blueprint and solve for a long-term correction not just a short-term fix.

Here are a few simple at-home suggestions to help slow the poor posture progression:

  •  Get biofeedback
    • Use a biofeedback posture device such as Upright-Go
    • Do not use posture straps for too long, you will become dependent and you will have rebound effect i.e. worsened posture.
  • Stretch
    • Stretch your pectoralis muscles.
    • When these muscles get tight your shoulders round forward – hunching you further.
  • Exercise
    • Sit up straight.
    • Line your ear over your shoulders, and your shoulders over your hips.
    • Squeeze your shoulder blades together for five seconds.
    • Repeat this for 10 reps 10 times a day for two weeks.
  • Move
    • Do not sit in one place longer than 60 minutes. Set an alarm so that you know when to stand up and move around.
    • Our bodies are meant to be in motion which allows for contraction and relaxation of muscles.
    • Not enough movement causes those key upright posture muscle groups to get fatigued.
  • Stress reduction
    • Good posture as a cyclical effect of improving mental health. ‘Postural Posing’ has been shown to decrease cortisol levels and reduce anxiety. Remember, the body and mind are linked!

Finally, if none of these are working or you’ve noticed your posture hunching (insert voice of mom, “Sit up straight!”) then it has progressed into an unconscious routine.

Schedule a posture and structural exam with our CBP Chiropractors. We will determine the most efficient way to restore you back to your proper blueprint and release those stress bottlenecks. And best of all, we’ll never tell you to get your elbows off the table.

References:

Davis ML et al, Journal of Anxiety Disorders, December 2017: 52(1-7).

Carney DR et al, Psychological Science, 2010: 21(1363-1368).

 Harrison DD, Harrison DE, Janik TJ, et al. Modeling of the sagittal cervical spine as a

method to discriminate hypolordosis: results of elliptical and circular modeling in 72

asymptomatic subjects, 52 acute neck pain subjects, and 70 chronic neck pain subjects.

 Spine (Phila Pa 1976) . 2004;29(22):2485-2492,

Roussouly P, Pinheiro-Franco JL. Sagittal parameters of the spine: biomechanical

approach.

 Eur Spine J. 2011;20 Suppl 5(Suppl 5):578-585.

 

 

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