It’s a fairly regular occurrence for me as a chiropractor to meet people who are looking to improve their posture. In these cases the individuals are usually concerned about their posture from an aesthetic point of view; the mirror is showing them something unattractive like a hunched back, rounded shoulders or a head jutting too far forward. While it’s fine to focus on posture from a body image viewpoint, science is beginning to show us that posture is actually a key factor in an individual’s health with implications for their future.
Posture and Health
A recent study done in Japan examined the link between posture and health. Spinal posture was evaluated in participants over age 65 who were living independently at the beginning of the study. The participants were followed over 4 and a half years and it was found that individuals with spinal inclination (head and upper back forward of the lower back/buttocks when posture viewed from the side) were much more likely to end up requiring assistance with activities of daily living. In other words people with abnormal spinal inclination as they age are more likely to require someone to help them with daily living tasks or may need to be admitted to a nursing home for this assistance. Another study done in 2004 appearing in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that this forward slumped posture is associated with an increased rate of death due to heart disease. In the chiropractic profession we are aware that uncorrected poor posture leads to stress on the spine and nerve system resulting in problems with strength, co-ordination, balance, mobility and organ function. These changes are the reason people can no longer participate in the activities they enjoy nor care for themselves. But you don’t have to end up this way!
Regular chiropractic check-ups and corrective adjustments help keep your spine and nerve system healthy and can also correct and balance abnormal posture patterns. Many chiropractors today use an app to measure posture and track progress through care. One of my goals for my patients, regardless of their age is to put them on a track whereby they are able to avoid much of the losses of function that can occur with aging.
Having your posture checked by a chiropractor is easy, quick, painless and is a useful tool to help you understand you present and future health status. Get yours checked today!