Posture 101 - And How It Affects Your Back
Your mother was right when she told you to “quit slouching and sit up straight.” She may not have been able to quote the research correlating poor posture with poor circulation, restricted breathing, back pain and injuries, joint degeneration and even increased mortality, but she did know that good posture was important! So why is it so difficult to “straighten up”? Simply put, because we’ve forgotten how! From the time we’re in Kindergarten, we spend much of our time sitting in chairs. We lean over desks to write or type at computers and when we’re not sitting at work, we’re sitting in a car or in front of the T.V.
Our hip flexors and chest muscles shorten, our back muscles weaken, our breathing becomes shallow and we lose that brain to core neurologic connection so that we have difficulty engaging those muscles when we try.
Fortunately the health care and fitness industries are starting to catch up with what our ancestors inherently knew. The emphasis is shifting away from “6 pack abs,” to maintaining neutral spine and strengthening the core, as well as integrating this knowledge into every day activities.
Posture Training 101
It all starts with Neutral Spine. “Neutral” is the position of the spine that supports your body with the least amount of effort and stress. It looks something like an elongated “S”.
We look at your current posture to determine which muscles are chronically shortened and which are weak, as well as how your posture might be contributing to your current pain. Then we teach you simple exercises to lengthen the short muscles and strengthen the weak ones.
We teach you how to find your neutral spine position and how to engage your deep core muscles to support you in that position, whether you’re standing, sitting, sleeping, walking, bending or lifting.
Straighten up and make your mother proud - schedule your posture training today!
Dr. Pamela Wells is a Chiropractor based in Sunnyvale California.