Chiropractic Wellness Care and Posture is an important subject, but somewhat complex so we present it in two parts.
The Secret to Abundant Energy:
Good posture is balance and harmony with gravity. It is an effortless, comfortable, relaxed state that provides you with energy, poise, and stability. It is essential for physical and mental health. Poor posture creates abnormal stresses on your skeleton, damages the joints of your spine, hips, legs, knees, feet and puts pressure on your brain and nervous system. It results in chronic fatigue, exhaustion, pain, lowered resistance to disease, diminished lung capacity, headaches, eyestrain and decreased blood to the brain – your movements become stiff and halting, you look older and age faster.
Good posture should be natural, not forced. With good posture your head, neck, shoulders, back, abdomen and leg muscles are relaxed, yet ready to spring into action. Better than 90 percent of the energy output of the brain is used in relating to the physical body in its gravitational field. The more mechanically distorted a person is, the less energy available for thinking, metabolism and healing.[i]
Are You Balanced?
Does your left side weigh the same as your right side? Is your head centered over your shoulders, hips and feet? Are those 24 bones that make up your spinal column properly aligned? One way to find out is by x-ray, using full-spine or postural films to measure skeletal alignment. Another is with a structural stress analyzer that plots and analyzes skeletal points using sophisticated computer designs. Perhaps the simplest procedure is the bi-lateral scale that weighs each foot. You can get an idea of your balance simply by standing on two bathroom scales; the weight distribution should be the same over each foot.
Leg Length Inequality
One sign of postural imbalance is leg length inequality. In most cases one leg really isn’t shorter, except when a broken bone improperly heals or there is muscle or bone disease or degeneration.
The skeleton is actually out of alignment giving the legs the appearance of different lengths. This imbalance causes joint, muscle and bone stress, which leads to back, hip or knee wear and pain, fatigue and exhaustion. Chiropractors address this condition with spinal adjustments to restore neurological integrity and body balance.[ii]
Loss of height
As people age they often lose height, but most of that loss doesn’t have to be. Most loss of height is due to spinal disc thinning, spinal shrinkage or spinal tension (spinal stenosis) and abnormal spinal curves due to years of poor spinal health and posture. Chiropractic care and proper spinal health can stop height loss and even return some height to the spine.
One of the findings from the 84-day Skylab mission was that the astronauts grew taller – as much as an inch and three quarters – because the distance between the spinal discs increased in their weightless environment.
Sitting and Standing Posture:
It is not unusual for a person’s standing spinal x-ray to look fairly normal while their sitting X-rays reveal distortions and misalignments. This can be common in people who were in auto accidents, especially involving whiplash, and one reason why there is pain when sitting and no pain when standing and vice-versa; or why a person may experience pain when going from one posture to another, for instance from sitting to standing.
For these reasons doctors of chiropractic may analyze a patient’s spine standing, sitting and laying down in order to properly assess their spinal health and to start them on their path to healing.
[i] Roger Sperry, Ph.D. Nobel Prize for Brain Research
[ii] Seeman D. Bilateral weight differential and functional short leg: An analysis of pre and post data after reduction of an atlas subluxation. Chiropractic Research Journal, Vol. 2 No. 3, 1993) heel lifts, and postural supports.