What is Posture?

What is Posture? 

Posture. Just hearing the word alone makes people sit up taller or stand straighter. In today’s technology filled world it’s no longer just the adults who seem to have the worst postures but kids as well.

Why is posture so important?

The body functions best when the spine is in a balanced, neutral alignment. The nerves are unobstructed, the blood flows more efficiently, and the muscles work to their full potential. This position also relieves stress on joints and the skeletal structure. In contrast, poor posture is bio-mechanically inefficient and can contribute to poor performance, increasing fatigue and the potential for injury during activity.

To help understand why posture is important to our overall health and body function we must first know a few key points to what healthy posture looks like.

From the front:

  • The point between the eyes should line up vertically with the chin, breastbone, belly button, mid-pelvic area and midpoint between the knees and ankles.
  • The height of the eyes, ears, shoulders, hips and knees should be level.

From the side:

  • There should be three natural curves in the spine, slightly forward at the neck and lower back, and slightly backward at the upper back.
  • The ears should be aligned vertically over the shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

Forward Head Posture

Now that we have laid out the guidelines to what ideal posture should look like, we will take a look at some of the most prevalent posture conditions that we see at Align Health and Wellness.  The most common condition we see is Forward Head Posture (FHP).  When you begin to develop FHP,  gravity will start to pull your head towards the ground. Since the human head is approximately the same size and weight as a bowling ball,  it is certain that you will lose the healthy and ideal posture. Think about being at a computer for hours, your head will slowly in time start to fall forward creating an unhealthy habit leading you to FHP. The muscles in the neck and upper back are then placed under constant tension causing the muscles to shorten and lose elasticity. If FHP is not corrected, it could also lead to complications during activity. Poor posture can inhibit performance and contribute to serious spinal and muscle injuries. Fortunately, here at Align we use corrective chiropractic techniques paired with rehab exercises (both inside and outside of the clinic) to ACTUALLY CORRECT forward head posture and continue to maintain the ideal neck posture.

Leg Length Discrepancy

In addition to FHP, we commonly see people come in with Leg Length discrepancy (LLD), where the pelvis is not level and the legs appear to be different lengths. This may be the diagnosis, but root of the problem often stems from asymmetric positioning of the pelvis. This could possibly be a result from trauma, or due to dysfunction of the hip, low-back, and leg musculature. Frequent exercise with the abnormal stresses and movements caused by LLD can contribute to a variety of overuse injuries. Most people are unaware of the fact that they are even affected by LLD, causing them to be frustrated by pain or injury. It is important to detect LLD early so that this does not lead to lifelong pain and frustration. At Align Health & Wellness we use x-rays to evaluate each person’s ACTUAL structure and take the necessary steps to correct and maintain this correction.

The benefits of having good posture are immeasurable and the Doctors at Align Health and Wellness in Wayzata/Long Lake area have had excellent success in providing detailed care for each and every person that comes in looking for help.


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