Since the month of May is Posture Month, celebrate by resolving to improve your posture – you'll feel better and look better.
Posture: Your Body's Balancer If you don't balance, you fall down! Our bodies would fall forward without muscles pulling us back. We use our muscles reflexively to balance when we sit, stand,sleep, or work.
When you have an injury, your body will move differently to avoid pain. Over time, the body will adapt.
Even if there is no continued pain, unbalanced patternsof motion persist. The human body still MUST
balance to stand. So, the brain adapts and adopts new muscle and joint positions.We believe we are standing straight because our brain is being told by our senses that we are balanced, even though the mirror shows we are not.
The Human Body: Designed To Move It is much easier to walk for 30 minutes than to stand perfectly still for 30 minutes. When we walk (or run) we must balance our bodies. In order to balance we switch back and
forth between standing and shifting muscles. During walking, we use STANDING muscles to stand on one foot, and then SHIFTING muscles to shift to the other foot. Standing or sitting still primarily works the standing muscles, causing these muscles to fatigue with time. However, when we walk we alternate between using standing and shifting muscles. This allows each set of muscles a moment of rest, reducing fatigue. Straighten Up! May is Posture Month Your Body Learns What You Teach It
The body moves in patterns of motion which adapt to each individual's body type, history of
injuries, and daily habits. The body's motion patterns are like a folded piece of paper that continues to fold at a crease because the fibers have been bent in a pattern. Strong muscles lift more. Weak ligaments stretch more. The body posture adapts, creating a postural change, or distortion. Distortions are seen when looking at posture (how people stand) and gait (how people walk). Over time, adaptive patterns of body motion
cause increased body stress and breakdown. Here are some examples:
If you sleep on your stomach
with your head turned to the right, when
standing you will find you head does not
turn as easily to the left.
When you prop a phone under your neck
while talking on the phone your neck twists to that
When driving or sitting in front of a
computer, day after day, the body folds forward in a
Our good and bad habits shape our bodies, our posture, and our patterns of motion. We adapt to doing whatever we do repeatedly. Re-Educate Your PostureHere are a few simple exercises* to help you
achieve and maintain good posture:
Exercise #1: Stand up against a wall and
face straight ahead. Gently pull your head back
towards the wall. Keeping your face level, without
looking up or down, jut your neck forward. Then
bring it straight back as if were on railroad tracks. You
should feel like a turtle pulling his head back into his
shell. Repeat five times.
Exercise #2: Lie on your stomach in a "pushup"
position. Slowly, with controlled motion, "press up"
your body. Keep your pelvis on the floor. Do not strain
the low back and only come up as high as you feel
comfortable. Slowly lower back down to your stomach,
and then repeat.
Exercise #3: Posture Ball** Stretch.
Postureballs are big inflatable balls used by chiropractors
and other health care providers to teach strength and
balance. Have someone spot you the first time you sit on
a postureball until you feel comfortable and balanced.
Sitting on the ball, slowly walk forward and roll down on
the ball until your head touches the ball. Then walk
backwards so your spine curves and lengthens over the
ball. When you feel comfortable, try and reach your arms
overhead. It is important to move slowly and with control.
Relax and stretch for 5 slow breaths.
Exercise #4: Posture Ball** HUG. Kneel in front
of the posture ball. Slowly, with controlled motion, roll
forward on the ball, letting the ball support your entire
weight. Keep your hands on the floor for balance only.
Gently roll forward on the ball until you are on your toes,
and then slowly roll back until your knees are on the floor
again. Repeat several times. Do not strain the low back
and only come as far forward as you feel comfortable.
Remember to take slow deep breaths as you stretch and
Stand Tall with Chiropractic Care
Your doctor of chiropractic is a trained posture
specialist. Ask your doctor of chiropractic for more
information on how to improve your posture. Regular
chiropractic care, along with regular exercise, good
nutrition, and a wellness outlook can help you become
and remain a happy, healthy human being!
This article was provided courtesy of Steven Weiniger, DC, the
founder of Bodyzone.com, an on-line health information resource
and national referral directory.
Contact Us at 719-573-2225! Back Essentials Chiropractic can help you re-gain your posture and confidence!
Visit www.bodyzone.com for more information
or call (866) 443-8966.
*Always consult your doctor before participating in any
exercise program. All posture exercises should be performed
without pain. If you experience pain or discomfort, stop the exercise
and consult your doctor.
**Choosing the proper ball for your body type is important. For
tips on choosing the size that’s right for you and for more exercises
consult your doctor of chiropractic.