A balanced body will maintain health at its optimum level.
How does posture cause discomfort?
Injuries happen from falls, accidents or trauma, and continuous repetitive movements (ongoing poor habits). These cause postural imbalance. When the posture breaks down, the joints of your back hold the weight differently, and the supporting ligaments and muscles are pulled unevenly resulting in aches and pains. This may also produce changes in the nerves that pass between the bones to the rest of your body. Thus, a postural imbalance can result in pains, numbness or tingling into your back, down your arms or legs, and into your head. Sometimes a poor posture feels okay, but sitting up or standing straight may feel uncomfortable.
Why does posture break down?
The bones of your back and neck vertebrae are locked into each other so that when you move, bend, or turn, all the parts move together in harmony. Why is this important? The spinal cord passes through the center of these vertebrae, and nerves that go to every part of your body pass through the spaces between them. Because the vertebrae are dependent on each other, an injury to one area of your back can cause problems in a different area.
A healthy balanced posture requires your shoulders and hips to be level, with your head centered directly over your neck and back.
Posture breaks down initially due to an injury at the very top of your spine. The first bone of your neck, the “Atlas”, moves out of its normal position causing a change in nerve function. This causes spinal column imbalance and a measurable difference in leg length due to uneven muscle tension in the spine.
How do we improve posture?
On your first visit, we will record a thorough history of your problem and perform a physical exam that includes a precise measurement of your posture. Next, specific x-rays of your neck are taken to be analyzed in detail. From this information we can determine how best to help you.
On your second visit, we will explain what has been found and adjust your spine accordingly. We direct a controlled pressure into the upper neck, at the level of the Atlas, which allows the head and neck to move back toward a more normal position. X-rays are then taken right after your first treatment. We analyze these films and compare them to the first to make sure that your Atlas is better aligned.
Following the first adjustment, your body begins to move toward a normal posture. Your spinal muscles pull more evenly, abnormal stress is removed from weight bearing joints (back, hips, knees), and inflammation can subside.
Four Week Program of Care
For the average patient, we expect the spine to show stability in four weeks. During this time your progress will be monitored on key days to ensure that your posture is improving. After four weeks, your posture is re-measured.
When your adjustment is holding and your posture has improved, our work is done. We will leave you with some exercises to help you maintain your posture, and some guidelines to help you know when to return for further treatment.