Posture is the body position we maintain when sitting or standing. Often, posture focuses on three main body parts: the back, the shoulders, and the head. Studies show that between 50 and 80 percent of Americans experience back pain in their life and poor posture is a large contributor to that statistic. Our posture greatly influences how our bodies respond to various stresses:
- Stress from gravity
- Stress from carrying objects
- Stress from maintaining various physical positions (i.e. sitting)
These stresses can impair the body’s development. Poor posture can result in certain muscles being worked more than others – which can produce a cycle of specific muscles getting stronger and stronger while other muscles continue to be neglected. The stresses can also affect joints, producing arthritis or other impairments. Poor posture can result in excessive strain on organs; like the lungs, slowly constricting the rib cage. Studies have even shown that posture affects emotional health.
The spine’s posture begins in a “C” shape profile when we are born. Slowly, we develop curves until, ideally, the profile of our spine is in an “S” shape. When directly facing a person, the spine should maintain 33 vertebrae stacked directly on top of each other in a straight line. As we are seated, shoulders should be open and not hunched. The head and neck should remain perpendicular to the floor. Hands and wrists should rest on an object to prevent unnecessary straining. Good posture is not solely beneficial to appearance. Other benefits include:
- Less stress. Good posture should result in symmetrical work loads throughout the body; which can provide balanced muscle/joint activity.
- Greater efficiency. By utilizing the appropriate body position, our bodies can move unobstructed – producing less fatigue.
- Increased productivity. Due to the increase in efficiency and decrease in fatigue, our bodies feel less stressed and can be available to accept greater challenges.
Chiropractors are expert practitioners who specialize in spinal alignment. Chiropractors can reposition your spine through a series of alterations – usually conducted while the patient is lying down. Realigning the spine is vital to achieving proper posture. Daily routines have changed significantly over the past century. Computers play an essential role in a large number of American jobs. The continuous downward staring at a computer screen can produce excess stress on the neck and spine. These requirements placed on Americans by their employers could be grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. Since the majority of Americans experience back pain, your employer may be responsible for covering the chiropractic expenses associated with realigning your spine. Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer and ask if you’re eligible to receive paid medical expenses from your employer. If you are experiencing any form of back pain, contact an experienced back pain doctor Bethesda trusts to ensure that you are taking proper steps to solving this issue.
Thank you to the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for providing their insight and expertise on the importance of good posture.