A big part of our work and getting you better (and keeping you better) is to make sure that you are the best educated patients in the world – 2nd best is not good enough. Every day I speak to many of you about your posture. It is the easiest thing to change – in fact all it takes is a little discipline to start a new good habit. Having good posture means you will get better faster (by removing a massive negative strain to your spine) and will mean that you need to be adjusted less often down the road, if you keep working at it. Eating right is important, exercise is too, keeping your stress in check will help keep you healthy, but maintaining good posture is the easiest thing you can do with big payback. That’s right, when it comes to bang for your buck (or results for your effort) good posture is the one.
So why, if I have already spent a huge amount of time talking to many of you on a daily basis about the importance of good posture, do I need to do a handout about it?
MANY OF YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT! For your posture to improve and stay good, you have to work at it. I am sorry if I come off as brash, but how do I know you are missing the point? I see your bad posture – especially you guys (and ladies) who sit in the chairs bent backed over your cell phones . . . and I care enough to say something about it.
Please allow me to fully explain, so you can understand how important your posture is:
A slight forward shift in the head causes a massive extra load of weight on the neck. If your head is lined up over your shoulders it weighs what it weighs (about 12 lbs for the average adult). Shift it forward even a little and that 12 lbs can easily act and feel like 30 to 40 lbs!!
Research is now very clear. If you have even a few degrees of increased rounding in your middle back, your risk of dying from the major diseases (heart, digestion, liver, pancreas, etc.) are exponentially increased. Why? It increases the rate of damage of the discs in the middle back, which causes choking of the nerves that control your internal organs.
There are forces that are working through your spine everyday (and night), 24/7 that your body will handle well or not, put your spine in a bad position and you lose the advantage of the built in spring and the ingenuity that lined it up right. In the diagram you can see how gravity puts a force through your spine. This force can be broken down into 2 components (compressive force and shear force). Your spine is designed to handle significant compressive forces, but shear forces are tough. They cause most of the damage. Poor posture increases the shear force and the damage (and increase the pressure on your spinal cord, and drop your chances of staying healthy)
What is the GOOD NEWS? Changing your posture is easy, easy!!! Make the committment, stay disciplined and it’s a done deal – you can do it!
Dr. Brad and the New Life Team
New Life Chiropractic│ 705.735.1838