Most people have poor posture and just assume that it doesn’t impact them. It is just something that happens and they will deal with it later. They don’t know when it started and often think that exercise and stretching will fix it. This blog will examine where posture comes from and how it’s impacting you.
One of the most common misconceptions about posture is that I can just sit straighter and it will go away. Poor posture is a result of poor habits over a lifetime. It starts when you are little and put in front of a t.v. It continues in today’s society when you are sitting in front of a computer, texting, driving, sitting in chairs at work, at home etc. Once you start to lean forward, flex your head in front of your shoulders, gravity takes over. Now gravity is pulling you down and your postural muscles are struggling to counteract this. Over a short period of time, in some cases weeks the nerve system learns that this is normal posture and starts to reinforce this pattern. If nothing is done to counteract this posture then our nerve system stores this image as normal and then we battle it for the rest of our lives. We try to sit straighter, work out, change our chairs, and still have poor posture. Chiropractor’s and our office Discover Life Chiropractic are postural specialists. We work with the nerve system to reprogram your nerve system back to its factory settings (head over the shoulders when viewed from the side, head over pelvis when viewed from the front). With a combination of chiropractic adjustments and postural exercises we can retrain your nerve system back to proper posture. Then we provide a support system called wellness care because you are going back to the lifestyle that created this so patients get periodic check ups to make sure they are staying at optimal posture alignment.
Why is posture important? Here are some stats from our posture class we teach. You are 50% more likely to die sooner if you have a jutting head posture, the more height you lose in life the faster you die, if you lose 3cm then you increase your risk of dying 64% and heart attack risk 43%, you increase your risk of stroke, decrease your oxygen intake and since your brain uses 20% of your oxygen you negatively affect it, potentially leading to dementia etc. At Discover Life Chiropractic we have patients in their 70’s regaining height, decreasing blood pressure, gaining mental clarity, improving posture scans, and normalizing paraspinal muscle activity. We continually monitor these tests to make sure you are maximizing your ability to live a longer more productive life.
Stress We all have it, live with it, ignore it, hope it will go away, or resign ourselves to it. Society knows about it, my patients know about it but most everyone doesn’t know what to do about it. Stress is defined as change either positive or negative. So when we change our environment our ourselves it creates stress in our life. There are positive stressors(eustress) or negative stressors(distress) in our lives. Positive stressors make us better e.g. going to the gym to work out, taking a new position at work etc. Then there are the negative stressors just read the paper and you know what I’m talking about. These are the ones that create problems in our lives and diseases in our bodies.
In our office we break stress management categories into three types; physical, emotional, and chemical. Physical is gravity, posture, birthing, injuries, slips and falls, etc. Chemical is food we eat, things we drink, drugs we take, exposure to cell phone radiation, electromagnetic radiation and household chemicals. Emotional stress is everything you think about that isn’t working for you job, mortgage, relationships, academics, athletics, etc. There is an old saying that what you think about you bring about. Dwell on the negative and that’s what keeps coming into your life. Read the book THE SECRET if you want more on this idea. The reality is we are always going to have stress so what can we do. This is where chiropractic steps in. Your nerve system is the system that determines stress and the appropriate response. Think about your favorite food. Can you see it, already start to taste it. Your nerve system has this memory and already salivary glands are producing saliva, digestive system changes are happening all because your nerve system took an idea and triggered an action. When you work out your blood pressure should go up and when your done it should go down. This is if your nerve system is functioning at 100%. But what if you have a misaligned vertebrae(subluxation) to the nerve that goes to your heart. Now when you work out your blood pressure goes up and then stays up because your body can’t receive the signal that tells your blood pressure to go down. Then you live like this for a decade or two( since most kids are subluxated by 2-3 years old). Then you go to the doctor, get diagnosed with high blood pressure, take medication, and live with it for the rest of your life, dealing with the secondary effects of a body that’s overstressed. (Here’s a question to think about- Is blood pressure an effect of stress or a cause. If its an effect then isn’t it better to treat the cause?) Subluxations blocked the normal response so then the body just responded to the info that it had. IF the subluxation was removed in this scenario then the blood pressure drops and the patient live medication free. This type of incorrect response to stress occurs hourly in subluxated people who comprise over 85% of the population. My job as a chiropractor is to remove the subluxation and allow the body to correctly adapt to the daily stress you put your body through. Your job is to minimize the stress your expose yourself to and have systems in place-adjustments, exercise, massage, acupuncture, to help de-stress yourself.
Dr. David Hendrickson
Interesting thought. This week during patient care this theme came up frequently. When patients asked me what else they could be doing to help themselves stay in correction longer this idea came up. How much are you willing to invest, change, do, and analyze? All of my clients get adjusted. Most of my successful clients get adjusted on a scheduled time whether it is weekly or biweekly. This allows me to manage their care and see how their body is dealing with stress and give them tips based on my analysis and 20 years in practice. More successful patients also do posture correction exercises at home and change negative lifestyle habits. Other clients work out regularly, change their diet, add in yoga, get massage on a scheduled basis. My least successful clients are the ones that come in infrequently, still expect the same adjustment results even though the problem has gotten worse, think that just because they woke up with pain yesterday it should go away with one visit. They are relying on other people to get them healthy and not themselves. Then if it doesn’t work it’s someone else’s fault not theirs.
Really how big you want to play is up to you. Everyone has the time to get adjusted, receive massage, go to the gym 3-5 times weekly but we all are guilty of one thing…procrastination!! It’s easy to buy the ticket that medicine is selling, don’t worry about your lifestyle we’ll fix you with a miracle drug or surgery and you can eat, drink, and smoke what you want. It’s easy sit at home and watch tv, eat high carb foods and feel happy. We all know where this train is going to derail … poor health. If you want to receive the best results in chiropractic and other health care professions then take care of yourself NOW. If you want to spend the least amount in healthcare then do the things that will keep you out of the system. Our office has been successful for years in changing their life. In fact a patient just the other day said she came in for back issues and was giving me 6 months to fix it, we did and now 6 1/2 years later she enjoys the benefits of regular chiropractic care as part of her health lifestyle. Just imagine a nation of healthy people instead of a nation with a health care crisis!
Many patients that see kids in the office wonder what back problems they are being treated for. The reality is that these kids parents understand that subluxations occur at early ages and limit their kids potential. Yes, chiropractic is beneficial for the children that have ear infections, colic, chronic illness and other maladies. Most parents understand the benefits of chiropractic care and want the best for their kids. If the child’s innate intelligence is limited by subluxation then how can they really be living their life at full potential? How many falls have your kids had? Do they have proper posture, carry a backpack that only weighs 15% of their bodyweight, sit correctly in school, while texting, during dinner? All of these activities have consequences good or bad depending on how your innate adapts to the stresses. (See upcoming blogs about posture) So how healthy are your children? Most commonly parents answer they don’t have any symptoms so they must be healthy. Most people don’t realize that pain is the last indicator of health. One of the best indicators of health is posture. Posture is reflective of your nerve systems ability to adapt to its environment. If it’s crooked then your nerve system is stressed incorrectly and as a result sending the wrong test message to the body. Surface EMG is another great indicator of analyzing the electrical communication and seeing if there are any blocks(subluxations). If your children have had slips and falls, improper posture, and haven’t had a chiropractic analysis then it’s time. After all aren’t you responsible for your childs health?