In this video we look at how Chiropractic Care care can help with posture, which, in these days of overuse of technology and the resultant “text neck”, is more important than ever.
A transcript of the video follows.
Chiropractic and Posture Studies
Posture is often a forgotten aspect of our health, but it’s actually really important.
People who have bad posture usually end up with neck pain or headaches, and people with neck pain often have breathing problems. This can all impact your daily life and functional ability, and the problem does not end here because the way that you breathe also has very important influences on posture and spinal stabilization.
But bad posture also affects other health aspects. For example, a study conducted in the psychology department at the University of Auckland in New Zealand looked at the effects of upright posture compared to slouch posture on young, healthy people’s resilience to cope with a stressful reading task.
The study results clearly showed that when these people were held in an upright good posture, they could cope with a stressful task much better than if they were held in a slouch position during the same task. In addition to this, the scientists found that good upright posture also resulted in the participants displaying a feeling of higher self-esteem, better mood and lower fear compared to the slumped posture situation.
Yes, you heard that correctly. Good upright posture is not only good for healthy breathing, but it can also make you more:
- Feel better mood-wise.
- Reduce your feelings of fear.
- Help you be more resilient when dealing with a stressful situation.
- Activate your Parasympathetic Nervous system
Forward head posture is particularly bad. It’s important to have your head resting nicely and directly on top of your spine. Consequently, you don’t want your head positioned out in front of your spine. To put this in perspective, a normal-sized head weighs about three kilos or six and a half pounds. This is about as heavy as a bowling ball. Your spine is designed to hold that up without any problems at all. But if it’s hanging forward, then there’s a three kilo weight hanging off your muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, the back of your neck. This is not a good thing for your spine and increases the burden, the strain, and the stress that your spine has to cope with.
What is quite concerning is that the number of people who are showing up with forward head posture is increasing dramatically. It is becoming so common that it’s been given a name, text neck, because many people believe we are seeing so many more young people developing neck pain due to the increased use of smart devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Studies are showing that developing neck pain is not something that should be considered growing pain.
It is not likely to go away by itself.
We know that when children develop spinal dysfunction resulting in pain during their teenage years, they are more likely to become adults with ongoing spinal pain problems. Teenagers with spinal dysfunction to the degree of having pain in multiple regions, become adults with spinal pain problems in multiple regions and so on.
So the best thing for your children’s sake is to nip it in the bud and fix the problem early so that it does not go on to become a lifelong problem for them. The health and function of your child’s spine can significantly impact their future quality of life.
A simple solution for little kids with smart devices is to make sure they lie on their stomach when they’re using them. This makes it impossible for them to hang their heads forward.
So keep a close eye on your children and teenager’s habits. Talk to them about the importance of good posture and a properly functioning spine for their health. And if you have any concerns, go and see your local family, chiropractor.
- Fernández-de-Las-Peñas, C., Cuadrado, M. L., & Pareja, J. A. (2006). Myofascial trigger points, neck mobility and forward head posture in unilateral migraine. Cephalalgia, 26(9), 1061-1070.
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- Bradley H, Esformes J. Breathing pattern disorders and functional movement. Int J Sports Phys Ther. Feb 2014;9(1):28-39.
- Nair S, Sagar M, Sollers J, 3rd, Consedine N, Broadbent E. Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health Psychol. Jun 2015;34(6):632-641.
- Aartun E, Hartvigsen J, Wedderkopp N, Hestbaek L. Spinal pain in adolescents: prevalence, incidence, and course: a school-based two-year prospective cohort study in 1,300 Danes aged 11-13. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2014;15:187.
- 5Hestbaek L, Leboeuf-Yde C, Kyvik KO, Manniche C. The course of low back pain from adolescence to adulthood: eight-year follow-up of 9600 twins. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). Feb 15 2006;31(4):468-472.
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