How chiropractic care can help with poor postureJanuary 27, 2017
Poor posture is a major contributor to neck pain and low back pain.
We are all guilty of it, but how many of us are taking a conscious effort to maintain proper posture throughout our day? In this article, we take a deeper look at the injury, how it’s caused and how chiropractic therapy can be an effective tool for treatment and prevention.
Why does poor posture lead to injury and pain?
Poor posture leads to a form of injury categorized as repetitive overuse injury. Over a prolonged period of time, repetitive overuse injuries lead to an accumulation of load and pressure on certain parts of the body, mainly the back and neck. Ultimately, this excessive load and tension will become too much for the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints to handle. This, in effect, leads to the development of a system of predictable muscle imbalances and dysfunctional movement patterns in the body.
These imbalances and dysfunctional movement patterns were first recognized and classified by the famous Czech scientist, Dr. Vladimir Yanda. He referred to these as “Upper Crossed Syndrome” for the upper body and “Lower Crossed Syndrome” for the lower body. Crossed syndrome and postural syndrome are sometimes used interchangeably.
What is postural syndrome?
Postural syndrome or crossed syndrome is characterized by a collective over-facilitation (over-activation) and weakness/inhibition of certain muscle groups in either the upper back or the lower back. Specifically, upper crossed syndrome and lower crossed syndrome are characterized by the following muscular facilitations and inhibitions:
How do muscle imbalances and dysfunctional movement patterns lead to pain?
Muscle imbalances and dysfunctional movement patterns due to poor posture and other conditions can lead to secondary problems such as instability, weakness, overuse, fatigue, abnormal wear and tear, compensation, joint dysfunctions, hypo mobility, hyper mobility, degeneration, etc. It is these secondary problems that are associated with symptoms of pain, limitation, and discomfort. Ultimately, these symptoms can lead to musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions such as low back pain and neck pain.
What lifestyle changes can you make to improve your posture and limit neck pain and low back pain?
- Sit straight (as much as possible)
- Be aware of your posture at all times (whether standing or sitting)
- Avoid using your phones and laptops for prolonged periods of time (play less Pokémon)
- Avoid prolonged sitting (sitting puts more pressure on the back than standing)
- Get a standing desk at work
- Stretch a few minutes every day
- Exercise regularly to strengthen the spine and the core
- Eat healthy; drink lots of water
- Have a firm and supportive mattress and pillow when sleeping
- Don’t live with pain; do something about it
- See your chiropractor (regularly)
- Get maintenance treatments by your chiropractor, RMT and physiotherapist (you don’t necessarily have to have pain to get treatments)
How can chiropractic treatment at Fortius help improve your poor posture and other MSK conditions?
Chiropractic therapy is very effective in treating symptoms and conditions associated with poor posture. Chiropractors at Fortius are highly trained to diagnose and treat a multitude of MSK conditions. These conditions are not just limited to the neck and back. In fact, they can treat any joint system and the conditions associated with that area. At first, they perform a thorough physical examination using orthopedic testing, neurological examination, biomechanical assessment and functional movement screening to diagnose the condition(s). During treatment, chiropractors at Fortius use different therapeutic techniques in conjunction to provide the most effective therapy. Some of these include:
- Chiropractic manipulation and joint mobilization to decrease and improve joint dysfunctions
- Soft tissue therapies such as Active Release Technique, Graston Technique, and myofascial release to help release tight and tense muscles
- Taping and bracing techniques to help increase support and decrease pressure
- Rehab exercises to strengthen the weakened and inhibited muscles
- Stretching techniques to help loosen and relax the over-facilitated tissues
- Electrical and therapeutic modalities such as TENS, muscle stim, ultrasound, laser therapy, IFC, and cold and heat therapy for pain management
- Postural exercises to improve posture
Chiropractors at Fortius also work closely with our integrated team of sport medicine physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists, physiatrists, strength and conditioning coaches, physiologists, biomechanists and dietitians to provide the best possible care for our clients.
For more information about what chiropractors at Fortius can do for your MSK conditions, or to book your appointment, visit the Chiropractic page on the Fortius Website or call 604.292.2501.