Posture is the position in which you hold your body while sitting, standing, or lying down.
On the other hand, good posture is the proper alignment of your body parts supported by the correct amount of muscle tension against gravity.
The past few years have seen an increasing number of people develop bad posture. This trend is only growing with the heavily increased use of personal electronic devices, long hours seated at work, and lack of proper exercise.
When treated early, most instances of degenerative changes to your posture can be alleviated.
Contact us today to improve posture holistically and effectively!
Scoliosis is a medical disorder where the spine curves to one side in a C or S-shaped curve.
Scoliosis can occur in middle or late childhood. Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, the most common type of scoliosis amongst adolescences, frequently involves the thoracic spine. This leads to a rather noticeable hump in the mid-back especially when they bend forward, often only on one side.
Meanwhile, adult scoliosis affects the lumbar spine typically. As we grow, our spines may degrade from age, leading to this type of scoliosis, also known as degenerative scoliosis. In some cases, adult scoliosis can also be a secondary symptom of other medical conditions such as tumours.
Scoliosis can be mild, moderate, or severe.
The Cobb angle, the standard measurement for determining and tracking scoliosis progression, is calculated to measure spinal curvature. Depending on the severity of the curvature, different scoliosis treatment options are available.
- Less than 20°: Conduct observation with regular check-ups and x-rays. Chiropractic care is recommended to prevent the worsening of mild scoliosis.
- Between 20° to 40°: Bracing to slow down the progression of the spinal curve until skeletal maturity
- More than 40°: Depending on the locations of the major curves and if they may impact organ function or risk of further progression, spine surgery (sometimes spinal fusion) may be considered in cases of severe scoliosis.
Types of Scoliosis
Idiopathic scoliosis generally means that the cause of the scoliosis is undetected. This is one of the most common forms of scoliosis (80%) that affect children and adolescents especially when they are going through a growth spurt.
Common signs of this type of scoliosis are uneven shoulders, prominent rib cage or protruding shoulder blades on one side and uneven hips. People with adolescent idiopathic scoliosis may also experience back pain earlier in their life.
Early detection from health screening and treatment of idiopathic scoliosis in children and adolescents can play a huge role in the nature and severity of their scoliosis as they age.
Degenerative scoliosis occurs when your spinal discs have degenerated. Arthritis in the joints that connect the vertebrae is also a cause of degenerative scoliosis.
Congenital scoliosis is a birth abnormality that causes a curved spine and is frequently accompanied by other organ problems such as kidney disorders, cardiac abnormalities, genitourinary tract anomalies.
Neuromuscular scoliosis is a condition in which the nerves or muscles that support the spine lose control, usually due to cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis or muscular dystrophy.
Functional scoliosis is a type of scoliosis that is secondary to functional problems such as:
- Misalignment of spinal elements
- lumbopelvic disturbances
- muscular imbalances
- lower limb pathology
- postural changes
Tech neck, also known as cervical kyphosis, is a painful condition that comes from the hunchback posture many people adopt when using their electronic devices.
Your head weighs around 5kg when you look straight ahead. Even when you bend forward just 15 degrees forward to glance at your phone, it doubles the weight of your head, putting it at about 12kg.
Consider how much weight your neck muscles, upper back, and shoulders have to support when you bend your neck at 45 degrees!
Because you're shifting your centre of gravity forward a little, your muscles will have to work harder now. As a result, they're supporting a heavier head, which will result in neck pain.
This pain is often the first symptom of tech neck. Others include:
- Constantly tense upper back and shoulders
- Numbness or tingling in the hands
- Hand weakness
- Rotator cuff tendonitis
If left untreated, tech neck could lead to inevitable long-term consequences, such as:
- Tension headaches
- Herniated discs
- Neck sprains similar to whiplash injuries
- Cervical radiculopathy: A disease process marked by nerve compression from herniated disc material or arthritic bone spurs. This impingement typically produces neck and radiating arm pain or numbness, sensory deficits or motor dysfunction in the neck, arm(s), hand(s) and finger(s).
- Problems with balance. Due to the head's centre of gravity shifting more in front of the body, the prolonged forward head position associated with tech neck has been related to worse balance control.
- Jaw ache. Jaw discomfort, also known as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, can be caused by a misalignment in the cervical spine or muscle imbalances.
- If left untreated, the forward bending caused by staring at your screen could become permanent. You may develop an irreparable hunchback appearance.
Importance of Good Posture
Good posture can help you lie, walk, sit, and stand in positions that put a minimal amount of stress and strain on your body, especially during movement and weight-bearing activities.
Not only that but the correct posture also:
- Keeps your joints and bones in correct alignment so your muscles can function accordingly. This decreases the possibility of abnormal wearing down of your joints that might result in joint pain or degenerative scoliosis.
- Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding your spine and body joints together, significantly reducing the likelihood of injury.
- Allows your muscles to work more efficiently, so your body uses less energy. As a result, you can avoid muscle fatigue.
- It helps prevent overuse disorders, muscle strain and reduces chances of developing chronic conditions, such as back pain.
Consequences of Poor Posture
As mentioned, people who chronically exhibit improper posture put much more stress on their bodies, making them more prone to injury and pain. But beyond this, we are learning that improper posture can have adverse effects on our health in many ways.
Don't just take our word for it; listen to this quote from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
“Deviations in the body’s centre of gravity have resulted in intestinal problems, varicose veins, osteoporosis, hip and foot deformities, poor health, decreased quality of life, and a shortened life span.”
In other words, not only does improper posture cause many adverse health risks, but it can make you die earlier! Therefore, good posture is worth devoting more time and effort to maintaining, even if you don't have any current aches or pains.
Correcting Poor Posture
Fortunately, our doctors of chiropractic at Elite Spine Centres are trained in multiple areas of analysis and techniques to assess and correct any postural problems properly.
Your posture problems are most likely by a myriad of factors rather than one sole reason. For example, it may stem from structural issues, improperly healed injuries or even poor habits at work and home. Therefore, our chiropractors will carry out a full diagnostic assessment to understand your individual needs.
This may consist of:
- Physical examination and analysis (possibly with x-ray) to assess your spinal column
- Detailed history of your lifestyle habits to see if any repetitive tasks could be putting you at increased risk of developing poor posture
Following that, our professional chiropractors will devise a customised combination of treatment and advice to best address your specific concerns, which may include:
- Myo-fascial therapy to release areas of high tension and soft tissue damage.
- Scoliosis exercises target opposing muscle groups and strengthen or stretch them accordingly.
- Home traction to reshape ligament plasticity and, in some cases, even reduce the degree of the scoliotic curve.
- Manual and instrument-assisted manipulations to restore proper joint mobility and reduce muscle and nerve irritation in surrounding tissues.
- Customised lifestyle modification strategies and exercises to work on stretching your hypertonic (tight) muscles and soft tissues
- Strengthening exercises to activate and develop your core muscles for long-term support
- Braces or posture correction tools may be prescribed as needed.
Understandably, long-standing postural problems will take much longer to address compared to short-lived ones. Depending on your age and condition, various amounts of treatment, exercise and time may be required to help you reach your postural goals.
Stand Tall with Elite Spine Centres' Chiropractic Care!
Schedule an appointment to come down and consult with one of our posture correction experts today so you can safeguard your spine and body against pain and dysfunction.
Elite Spine Centres provides conservative therapy that has saved many people from risky and costly surgeries. In fact, we combine the latest generation of equipment for postural issues along with our specific modern chiropractic and rehabilitation techniques to ensure you the best recovery possible!
Begin your wellness journey and reach your recovery goal with us. We've even prepared a promotional package for first-time patients covering almost everything you need for your first few visits to our clinic.
Don't miss out on this fantastic chance to restore your health.