Posture & Your Health
Ninety percent of our brain’s activity is dedicated to keeping our body balanced under the earth’s gravity according to research by the 1981 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology and Medicine – Roger Sperry. Therefore the other 10% of brain activity responsible for important body functions such as breathing, digestion or cognition will be affected if our body is not mechanically aligned. The nervous system controls the body and its electrical and chemical messages can be interfered with or even blocked when the spine and skeletal system are off-balance or in a misaligned position. Such interferences can manifest as a variety of symptoms or illnesses.
For example, if the head is stuck in a tilted position (as pictured) there is compression on the brain stem in turn restricting any flow of communication between brain and body resulting in impaired function and/or pain.
Chiropractic helps to restore balance to the body and in doing so normalizes the communication of the nervous system leading to healing cycles that alleviate the pain and symptoms as well as improving immune function and increases in oxygen and blood circulation. In short, Chiropractic creates optimum body performance and full expression of health.
During your initial consult and regular examinations at Lane Cove Chiropractic we analyse your posture to check for any imbalances. This is done by viewing your body from the back and the side. What we are looking for when look at your posture from the back is level ears, shoulders, hips and legs on both sides as well as checking the spine is straight. From the side view we check to see you have the four natural curves in the cervical, thoracic, lumbar and sacral-coccygeal areas.
The cervical (neck) region is usually the curve that decreases the most or is lost completely due to stress and daily activities (or lack thereof!). We take your photo and analyse what phase of degeneration your neck may be in as detailed in the diagram below. If such postural problems are not corrected and maintained, the imbalance will cause the body to compensate elsewhere to alleviate the stress and tension thus creating further health issues.
At Lane Cove Chiropractic we use x-rays and the PosturePro program to help ascertain which phase of degeneration your cervical curve may be in and what degree of Forward Head Posture (FHP) you may have.
Forward Head Posture (FHP) refers to posture imbalances in the neck and produces a domino effect. Firstly the centre of gravity is shifted forward so the upper body drifts backward and the hips tilt forward. In addition to neck pain and discomfort, FHP is also seen to be a cause of:
So how does Forward Head Posture Develop?
Reduced endorphin production
Decreased range of motion
Low back pain
Reduction of vital lung capacity
Cramming internal organs
Loss of height (postural distortion)
Loss of balance / Dizziness
Hip, knee, ankle, foot issues
Research has shown that measures of health status decreased in correlation with Forward Head Posture and were also proportional to the amount of forward deviation from the central line.
Traumatic incidents such as falls or car accidents are possible causes however months and/or years of posture neglect due to your work environment, hobbies, habits, and even poor nutrition and emotional stress are other important factors. Individuals who work at computers or desks are more likely to develop FHP.
The picture above compares a common working posture verses an ideal computer setup but it is important to be mindful that poor driving, sitting and standing habits, pregnancy, obesity, and weak or tight muscles also contribute.
In summary, our posture is the window to the spine. It shows where there are distortions to the spinal vertebral alignment, indicating areas of subluxation. One way to think of subluxation is habituated abnormal bone movement or alignment causing nerve interference and abnormal global physiology, or bodily function. Our body’s structure is intimately related to and directly affects of body’s functions. Mechanical distortion is reflected in your posture and spinal flexibility.
At Lane Cove Chiropractic we believe that the most important factor in correcting and avoiding postural deviations is awareness and education. Chiropractic adjustments, stretching/strengthening exercises, and proprioceptive re-training must all be addressed.
We are committed to working with you on each level – adjusting, educating and improving your overall health and well-being.
“The more mechanically distorted a person is the less energy is available for healing,
metabolism and thought” - Prof. Roger Sperry, Nobel Laureate