Why is good posture so important, and why is poor posture so detrimental? Chiropractors specialize in helping people align their spines in a natural, healthful way that not only promotes good posture but helps alleviate all the problems that come with it.
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what it means to have “bad posture.” Many people incorrectly think that “straight” equals “good,” which is a rather dangerous concept. However, it is true that poor posture can lead to a host of medical problems, and some of them are much more serious than expected. For example, some adults, and even a few children, suffer from severe back pain, spinal alignment issues, constricted nerve fibers, impaired circulation, insufficient lung capacity, and worse.
What should people do if they notice the ill effects of improper posture? Step one is to make an appointment with a chiropractor and get a full exam as soon as possible. The doctor can show you exactly what is wrong and instruct you about how to maintain good spine health for the long haul. In the meantime, a trained chiropractor will work to correct any bad spinal alignment, diagnose related problems that you might not have noticed, and bring some immediate relief for many symptoms. The negative health effects of bad posture are real. Plus, far too many people ignore the long-term damage they do to their bodies by ignoring postural problems.
The Harmful Effects of Bad Posture
There are many harmful effects of bad posture in both adults and children. Poor posture contributes to learning difficulties, headaches, neck pain, “pinched” nerves, incorrect spinal alignment, digestive ailments, lung problems, and more. Good posture has the opposite effect because it helps the entire body maintain its overall balance. For example, in young children, good posture can even affect the way they learn new words and ideas. There’s no question that improper, inefficient postural habits can impact their lives in important, long-lasting ways.
If you have suffered from tension or migraine headaches, the underlying problem might be your posture. Likewise, irritated, “pinched” nerves, the inability to sleep, and other common physical complaints can be the result of posture that is less than ideal. Here are four rather common effects of incorrect posture:
- Digestive difficulties
- Poor spinal alignment
- Insufficient lung capacity
- Pinched, irritated nerves
Seven Simple Ways to Correct Bad Posture
There’s no need to lose sleep over bad posture because there are plenty of things you can do to help yourself. In addition to visiting a chiropractor and getting long-term help, finding the cause of your postural problems, and getting regular treatment from a licensed physician, you can do some at-home stretches, exercises, and quick-fixes.
Note that there is no single cause of bad posture, so techniques for correcting it are varied. But in today’s modern world of computers, cars, and prolonged periods of sitting, there are more than a half-dozen very common causes for bad posture. Here are the problems and what you can do to get some relief, at least until you see a chiropractor for long-term care.
- Carrying heavy loads/shopping bags/purses: Choose lightweight bags and purses. Consider switching arms when you have to carry them for a long distance. Using an ergonomic backpack makes even more sense.
- Phone use: Smartphones can be dangerous for your postural health. Looking down for long periods of time can unduly stress the neck muscles. Correct the situation by using a pair of headphones and/or a hands-free unit when you spend more than a few minutes on your phone.
- Driving: Commuting can be stressful all by itself, but sitting too far from the steering wheel can cause us to stretch out bodies in unnatural ways in order to operate a vehicle. Correct this problem by moving your car’s seat nearer the steering wheel and sitting upright in the seat. Purchase a back support cushion if you need one.
- Sitting for long periods: You can cause curvature to your upper back and create very weak muscles by sitting too long. The problem is especially bad when you do this every day. Instead, try to sit upright in your chair, get an ergonomic seat, and take frequent walking breaks.
- Improper shoes: Everyone knows about the ill effects of high heels, but shoes that are completely flat are also a cause of forward leaning and eventual problems with the back. Fix your shoe problem by wearing athletic shoes when not at work and dress shoes with a small heel while on the job. Shop for comfortable shoes in stores where the employees know about foot health.
- Lifting the wrong way: If something is too heavy to lift, get help. Improper lifting posture is a fast way to end up with a serious injury. Never lift with your back muscles. Instead, even when lifting lightweight objects that are on the floor, squat down to “meet the object” and lift it using your leg and arm muscles. When faced with something you can’t easily lift, leave it where it is if you can’t find a helper or two. There’s no sense risking your health for a one-time chore.
- Not moving enough: It’s no secret that if you rarely exercise, spend too much time on the couch or in the computer chair, your posture will suffer. In addition to the added weight, you’re contributing to a generally unhealthy way of life. The solution? Exercise at least three times per week for about 30 minutes each session. Avoid eating junk food and fast food, which tend to be highly processed and only work to make you less healthy. If you’re not one for vigorous exercise, consider walking for about a half-hour every day and try to keep a brisk pace.
Get Long-Term Help for Your Posture
If your posture is not what it should be, consider visiting a chiropractor in order to get the help you need. The sooner you address the problem, the better. That’s because posture does not correct itself. If you’re already experiencing postural difficulties, they will only get worse as time passes unless you get proper care. Chiropractors are uniquely qualified to help children and adults correct postural issues and “reset” the spine and put the body on a path toward long-term health.
At Delaware Integrative Healthcare, our chiropractors never charge for a new patient consultation. That way, you can find out whether you are a candidate for treatment or if your posture issues are being caused by something else. Chiropractors do a thorough exam to make sure that they can help you. When they can’t, they’re happy to refer you to a specialist who treats whatever condition is giving you problems.
But if your condition is within the chiropractic scope of practice, the doctors at Delaware Integrative Healthcare will be able to explain to you what’s going on with your posture and how to correct the situation. Call us directly at (302) 744-8650 to make an appointment or simply email us at [email protected] so we can book an appointment for you.
If you’d like to learn a bit more about what we do at Delaware Integrative Healthcare, check out our website at https://www.deintegrativehealthcare.com/. We always welcome new and returning patients, so feel free to contact us at your leisure.