STEPS TO ACHIEVING DYNAMIC CHIROPRACTIC FOR POSTURE
You can improve your posture — and head off back pain — by incorporating some chiropractic for posture and some imagery along with a few easy exercises.
Looking directly at the front or back of the body, the 33 vertebrae in the spinal column should appear completely vertical. From a side view, the cervical (neck) region of the spine (C1–C7) is bent inward, the thoracic (upper back) region (T1–T12) bends outward, and the lumbar (lower back) region (L1–L5) bends inward. The sacrum (tailbone area) (S1–S5 fused) and coccyx (on average 4 fused) rest between the pelvic bones. A neutral pelvis is in fact slightly anteriorly rotated which means the anterior superior iliac spines should be just in front of the pubic symphysis not in the same vertical line using chiropractic for posture.
In medicine and occupations concerned with physical fitness and chiropractic for posture, the concept of good posture is referred to as “neutral spine”. In this context, proper posture or “neutral spine”, is the proper alignment of the body between postural extremes. Deviations from neutral alignment are identified as excessive curvature or reduction in curvature.
Rarely do these deviations in curvature occur in only one plane; however, they are typically referred to in this manner. In the anterior/posterior view, deviation from vertical results in abnormal lateral curvature of the spine called scoliosis. In the sagittal view, excessive curvature in the cervical region is cervical lordosis, in the thoracic region thoracic kyphosis, and in the lumbar region lumbar lordosis.
Reduction in curvature is typically termed flat back if present in the thoracic region and lumbar kyphosis if present in the lumbar region. In posture analysis, the spine is compared to a plumb line to detect the aforementioned abnormalities. From the anterior/posterior view this plumb line should run vertically down the midline of the body dividing it symmetrically into right and left halves indicating even weight distribution on left and right sides.
From the sagittal view the plumb line should bisect the ear, odontoid process of C2, the cervical vertebral bodies, the center of the glenohumeral joint, the lumbar vertebral bodies, the center of the acetabulum, just posterior to the patella, and through the tarsals of the feet. This sagittal line of reference theoretically indicates even distribution of weight between the front and the back of the body.
Scoliosis is well established and even evaluated at an early age. It is typically quantified using the standardized Cobb angle method. This method consists of measuring the degree of deformity by the angle between two successive vertebrae. The Cobb method was accepted by the Scoliosis Research Society (SRS) in 1966. It serves as the standard method for quantification of scoliosis deformities. Sagittal plane posture aberrations such as cervical and lumbar lordosis and thoracic kyphosis have yet to be quantified due to considerable inter-individual variability in normal sagittal curvature. The Cobb method of chiropractic for posture was also one of the first techniques used to quantify sagittal deformity.
As a 2D measurement technique it has limitations and new techniques are being proposed for measurement of these curvatures. Most recently, 3D imaging techniques using computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance (MR) have been attempted. These chiropractic for posture techniques are promising but lack the reliability and validity necessary to be used as a reference for clinical purposes.
• Imagery. Think of a straight line passing through your body from ceiling to floor (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles should be even and line up vertically). Now imagine that a strong cord attached to the top of your head is pulling you upward, making you taller. Try to hold your pelvis level — don’t allow the lower back to sway — and resist the urge to stand on tiptoe. Instead, think of stretching your head toward the ceiling, increasing the space between your rib cage and pelvis. Picture yourself as a ballerina or ice skater rather than a soldier at attention.
• Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight in a chair with your hands resting on your thighs. Keep your shoulders down and your chin level. Slowly draw your shoulders back and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for a count of five; relax. Repeat three or four times.
• Upper-body stretch. Stand facing a corner with your arms raised, hands flat against the walls, elbows at shoulder height. Place one foot ahead of the other. Bending your forward knee, exhale as you lean your body toward the corner. Keep your back straight and your chest and head up. You should feel a nice stretch across your chest. Hold this position for 20-30 seconds. Relax.
• Arm-across-chest stretch. Raise your right arm to shoulder level in front of you and bend the arm at the elbow, keeping the forearm parallel to the floor. Grasp the right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it across your chest so that you feel a stretch in the upper arm and shoulder on the right side. Hold for 20 seconds; relax both arms. Repeat to the other side. Repeat three times on each side.
Practice these imagery and posture exercises throughout the day or try chiropractic for posture. You might try to find a good trigger to help you remember, such as doing one or more of them when you get up from your desk, or right before scheduled breaks and lunch. Soon it will become a habit.