Why Is posture So Important For Proper Body Function?
When it comes to structure, spinal biomechanics play a huge role in how we are able to function on a daily basis. For example, if you have the space I want you to bend forward from the hips while standing and try to bring your arms out to the side and above your head in a clapping motion and see if you can touch your hands together. Now, stand up straight and try to do the same thing; did you notice a difference? This is just the tip of the iceberg and only gives you a brief look into the importance of having a neutral/ideal, upright posture. Within this blog we will go over the importance of posture, how it affects our bodies nervous system function, movement/mobility and how to improve upon it through CBP Chiropractic care at Friedman Chiropractic and Rehabilitation.
Nervous System Function
Our nervous system (brain, spinal cord and exiting nerves) is the main communicator to the rest of our body and is protected by a “shield” known as our spine. Our spine has many interconnecting joints called facets and allows us to move in many directions. This being said, when the spinal structure is compromised due to changes in its shape (subluxation), there are increased amounts of tension applied to the surrounding nerves, ligaments, joints, muscles, and bones. Over time, these postural distortions start to affect how the nervous system communicates to the rest of our body. To further help you visualize, I want you to think of a kinked hose. When we bend that hose to cut off water supply, the plants that need that water to survive are unable to get the water they need to stay healthy and eventually dry up and wilt away. Similar to this is our nervous system. When we have forward head posture, increased or decreased curvatures in our neck, mid back and low back, or sit in slouched positions, this creates added tension on the nervous system similar to the kinked hose. Over time, this creates abnormal nerve communication to the rest of our body as well as important organs within the body. It can also cause abnormal movement patterns, leading to advanced degenerative changes.
Autonomic Nervous System
Our autonomic nervous system communicates unconsciously with all of the internal organs of our body, such as the heart, lungs, stomach, intestines, gallbladder, pancreas, blood vessels, liver, kidney, bladder, genitals and the list goes on. When our body’s spinal structure is compromised, the surrounding nerves have increased strain placed on them and nerve communication to vital organs is decreased, which can cause many problems. For example, balance of water and electrolytes, blood pressure, heart and breathing rates, body temperature, digestion, metabolism, urination, and sexual response are a few of the eventual effects of abnormal structural alignment. We don’t always notice some of these effects until we eventually have a major medical crisis. Fortunately, there are ways to improve upon these abnormal structural patterns!
Biomechanics And Movement
At the beginning of this blog, I had you place your arms above your head in different postural positions to get a better idea of how posture can affect your daily movement patterns. We will now explain why posture is important in more detail, in relation to body movement. Biomechanics is a word defined in short by the science of how the body moves. In more detail, we are able to study how bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments function together to create the movements we perform daily. When you have an ideal spinal curvature, the surrounding joints have less strain being applied to them and movement is more efficient. It allows the nervous system to communicate with the rest of your body and makes it easier for you to move, which becomes a great biomechanical advantage when participating in sports, weight lifting, running, and many other activities of daily living. It also helps in preventing injury such as ankle sprains, falls or broken bones. When the spine is dealing with chronic abnormal postures over time, the bony, muscular and ligamentous structures start to degenerate faster due to the tensile loads being placed on them and the surrounding muscles and ligaments we talked about have to work harder to keep you upright. As this progresses, your nervous system becomes fatigued due to the abnormal messages it sends to those areas and leads to weakness, instability, and pain and can cause sprains, strains and broken bones.
Ways to Improve your Abnormal Postures.
When it comes to CBP chiropractic care, we are different and more unique than traditional chiropractic in that we provide mechanical traction/distraction to stretch/pull skeletal, ligamentous and muscular structures in the mirror image of your improper spinal curvature. This helps to relieve tension on the nervous system and improve overall spinal structure over time and provides optimal long term relief. We also prescribe mirror image exercises and adjustments additional to the normal chiropractic adjustments to help improve upon abnormal postural alignment and improve mobility.
For this reason, it is important that we analyze your posture at the beginning of care and at each re-examination in order to provide you with updates on how you are progressing and what you can do outside of the office to continue working toward decreasing the likelihood of recurring pain, discomfort and injury. These protocols help to reduce pain for much longer durations, improve strength, stability, mobility and allow you to live a better quality of life.
Forget The Pain!
If you are dealing with any type of pain and irritation along the spine or extremities, feel like you want to improve your posture or just want to maintain your overall health and wellness, book a free consultation and learn how Friedman Chiropractic and Rehabilitation can change your life!