Perfect Posture is Dynamic
Is there such a thing as perfect posture? The latest research shows that it’s actually more beneficial to think about your posture as dynamic, not static. In other words, your ideal posture is constantly changing and evolving. Think of your posture as a dynamic pattern of responses, reflexes, and habits, not just a fixed position.
Gravity, your work environment, and your body’s anatomy all play essential roles. For instance, sitting for hours at a time staring at a computer screen is a perfect example of a damaging static posture that, over time, can lead to the development of chronic forward head posture.
Forward head posture affects millions of people who spend their days using computers and can potentially cause pain and degenerative changes in your spinal joints. It places stress on the neck and shoulders and weakens the supporting muscles.
Here’s what you need to know…
If you spend long hours each day in a single position – like sitting at a computer – it’s important to take the time to take periodic breaks to stretch and move your body. Remember, posture is dynamic, and stretching can help “reset” your posture but also help keep your spine healthy and your energy levels up!
Scheduling a posture and movement assessment with us is also a great idea to help ensure you remain as pain-free as possible no matter how you spend your days. Just give us a call!
How to Improve Your Posture
When discussing posture, we often refer to your body’s overall position as you stand, sit, or lie down. Most experts would agree that a “good” overall posture involves physical positions that reduce stress on the body by balancing the load placed on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine.
If you’ve looked in the mirror and noticed that your posture doesn’t look as balanced as you’d like – not to mention it doesn’t feel as balanced as you’d like – you may be wondering what you can do to improve it.
One of the best ways to improve your posture is through motion. Changing positions frequently during the day, stretching, and specific postural exercises are all ways to improve your posture. Good posture helps you keep your bones and joints balanced, which helps reduce the wear and tear on your joints and decrease the strain on the ligaments that support your spine.
Here are some key takeaways:
Remember that stretching and exercising are essential when creating a plan to improve your posture.
Equally important is knowing where to start. Our postural and movement assessments can help you determine the best strategy to help balance and improve your posture, especially if you’ve been living with pain.
It all starts with a phone call. We’re standing by and ready to help!
How Your Smartphone Impacts Your Posture
Believe it or not, many of us spend 3 hours or more per day on our smartphones. That adds up to over 1,000 hours each year! And the positions we tend to hold our heads in while using our devices can be, well… damaging. You are damaging to your posture and damaging to your spine.
It’s not surprising that over the past few years, an uptick in these awkward positions has led to an increase in head and neck pain. It’s estimated that tilting your head forward, even just 15 degrees, can triple the weight of your head on your neck. Tilting your head forward 60 degrees can increase the stress and strain on your neck ten times over.
Repeating this forward head posture repeatedly can result in pain, stiffness, dysfunction, headaches, and more – a group of symptoms often referred to as “Tech Neck.” The good news about postural stress and “Tech Neck” is that simple routine changes can help reduce your risk of experiencing pain.
Here’s what you need to know:
Reducing your “Tech Neck” symptoms involves more than just changing the angle you look at your phone. Proper ergonomics and regular stretching and exercise all play significant roles in helping you continue to enjoy your favorite devices without those nagging pains.
If you’ve been living with “Tech Neck” and are ready to take action, you’ve come to the right place!
Our expert team is prepared to help evaluate your ergonomics and provide a plan of action complete with personalized recommendations that will help make it easy for you to maintain a more balanced posture for years to come.
Posture: Balancing Strength and Flexibility
Both strength and flexibility play a significant role in how your posture develops. For instance, a strong and flexible core helps the body dynamically adapt to every environment. The spine is supported and moves well, reducing the possibility of injury or pain. While it’s true that “perfect” postures may not exist, improving our strength, flexibility, and ergonomics goes a long way toward improvement.
Your body is dynamic and designed to move, but over time, it may feel less dynamic than it used to! Getting into a wellness routine with exercises focusing on strength and flexibility is a smart way to keep your body feeling young while promoting good posture – a true win-win.
Strengthening exercises can help develop proper support for your joints and decrease overall postural stress. Incorporating stretches and exercises focusing on flexibility will help your body maintain its ability to move through its full range of motion.
Did you know…
Remember, postural stress can add up over time.
Just because you’re not currently in pain doesn’t mean that everything is functioning at its highest level or that your daily wellness routine is as optimized as possible.
Our team specializes in posture and provides comprehensive individualized care plans – adjustments, stretches, exercises, and all!
Schedule an appointment today if you’d like to learn more about how we’re helping the people in your community achieve an ideal balance of strength, posture, and flexibility.
Our doors are open, and we’re here for you.
(1) Effects of Trapezius Strengthening on Posture. Med Sci Monit. 2020.
(2) Back Health and Posture. Cleveland Clinic. 2020.
(3) “Tech Neck” Taking a Toll on Posture. Columbia Spine. 2018.
(4) Breaking up Workplace Sitting Time. Occup Environ Med. 2014.
(5) Why Being Flexible is Great for Your Health. Healthline. 2020.
(6) Forward Head Posture and Neck Pain. Curr Rev Musculoskel Med. 2019.
(7) Guide to Good Posture. Medline Plus. 2020.
(8) Upright Posture Improves Effect and Fatigue. J Behav Ther Exp Psychiatry. 2017.
Be Smart With Your Smartphone and Look Up!
As education steps into the digital age, many students will be learning in some capacity for hours each day on their digital devices. While our devices can be fantastic tools for entertainment and education, the postural effects are something all parents should be aware of. For many students, e-learning may increase neck, mid-back, and low back pain.
Spending six or more hours each day looking down at your digital devices can profoundly affect your mental, social, and physical health. It can also lead to the development of “Tech Neck Syndrome.” This forward head posture often places tremendous stress on the neck (cervical spine) and can lead to an increase in headaches, back and neck pain, and more.
Did you know…
Why Chiropractic Care is Critical for Kids Who Play Sports
Youth sports are a big deal. It’s estimated that over 45 million kids are actively engaged in sports! While sports give kids a fantastic opportunity to grow socially and physically, they also increase risks for injuries, pain from overuse, and muscular imbalances. Finding proactive ways to reduce the risk of injury and balance the effects of training are essential for your child’s developing musculoskeletal system.
Your child’s skeletal system is actively developing until they are approximately 25 years old. Their postural habits, history of injuries, and genetics play a role in their body’s final form (and function). Sports have the potential to add a significant amount of stress and increase the chances of injuries for your developing child. Even small injuries to their spine can create bigger challenges down the road as they get older.
Power Your Child’s Brain with Movement
Years ago, many believed that the health benefits of exercise were limited to the body. However, research has demonstrated that regular physical activity and movement can benefit the body and the brain. Recent studies have highlighted that movement can improve the supply of oxygen to the brain and promote the production of new cells. It appears movement also aids in creating new connections in the brain!
Many schools have reduced physical education classes. Many more students have moved towards e-learning. For those reasons, it’s important to be mindful of our children’s physical activity and encourage them to exercise more daily. And not just to benefit their physical health. In many ways, exercising each day is likely to make your child a better student! Movement triggers the release of chemical substances in the brain that enhance brain function.
Here’s a quick snapshot of the benefits of movement:
E-Learning: How to Avoid Tech Neck
Is your child connected to a phone, computer, or tablet during and after school? Think about it. Many of us aren’t more than an arm’s length from our phone at any time (even when sleeping). Spending time every day looking down at our devices can place a lot of stress on the supporting muscles of our neck and lead to an increase in headaches. It’s a condition called “Tech Neck,” one of the most common causes of headaches and neck pain.
The countless daily hours kids spend on phones and computers can significantly contribute to tension headaches. It’s estimated that kids spend up to 1,400 hours per year in the exact positions attributed to the development of “Tech Neck.” That’s not surprising. Recent research has also shown that even 15 degrees of forward head tilt can triple the weight of the head on the spine.
Here are some key things to remember when it comes to “Tech Neck”:
Keep it simple. Encourage your children to take breaks and stretch often. These are some of the best (and easiest) ways to help them break the bad habits leading to “Tech Neck.” If your child spends a lot of time online and begins experiencing neck pain or headaches, don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Our team is experienced in evaluating children and creating kid-friendly care plans. Our doors are open, and we’re ready to help you and your family live the highest quality of life possible!
(1) Text Neck Syndrome in Children and Adolescents. Intl Journal of Env Research and Public Health. 2021.
(2) Back Pain in School Children. Dynamic Chiropractic. 1995.
(3) School Children’s Backpacks, Back Pain and Back Pathologies. Arch Dis Child. 2012.
(4) Young Athletes. UCONN Health. 2017.
(5) Learning Upregulates Neurotrophic Factor. Behavioral Neuroscience. 1998.
(6) The Anti-Depressant Effect of Running. Intl Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology. 2005.
(7) Regular Exercise Changes the Brain. Harvard Health Publishing. 2014.
(8) How Exercise Affects Your Brain. Scientific American. 2018.
(9) Assessment of Stresses in the Cervical Spine Caused by Posture. Surg Tech Intl. 2014.
(10) Three Steps to Build a Better Back. Harvard Health Publishing. 2015.
Do you know the benefits of chiropractic care? Many people know that chiropractors adjust the body’s joints, but things can get confusing after that. The truth is that chiropractors help your body heal through movement-based techniques that influence your body’s nervous system, muscles, and joints.
About 30 years ago, medicine had a shift in how they thought pain should be addressed. “Pain is a 5th vital sign” became a rallying cry, and new medications were created to block pain…at all costs. They now know that these medications created a never-before-seen healthcare epidemic. To begin with, the drugs weren’t very good at addressing chronic pain, and they require larger and larger doses to achieve an effect over time.
Posted in Pain Relief