3 Tips For Good Posture

Here we are in October already! Most of you know we hold posture checks in the office during the month of October, and this means THE SPIDER IS BACK! We have a Halloween decoration spider that hangs from our first adjusting room doorway. When we clap, he falls down a string making a plumb line, and patients stand next to the string, allowing us to check their posture. The ear and shoulder should be lined up in the plumb line, for good posture. We find that most people hold their head too far forward, causing improper pressure on the neck, and subsequently unbalancing the rest of their spine!This is especially true for patients with scoliosis.  We call that anterior head carriage.  The spider works well, as once we’ve seen the patient’s posture, we clap again, and he travels back up the string into the top of the doorway again! Kids (of all ages) love it, and it helps to show how easy it is to check posture anywhere!

These are a few serious conditions of the spine that can arise due to poor posture. The specific curves in the spine can be changed. The spine was designed to allow proper movement, and function. Changing the curves of the spine may cause spurring, and other arthritic changes that disrupt this function. Stenosis, previously a condition of older patients, is now a condition of patients only in their thirties! Research is showing gait, or how a patient walks, posture, and muscle tone contribute to this very serious condition. I’ll write an article in the future specifically on stenosis, so watch for it!

Three easy tips on good posture are:

  1. Visualize a plumb line hanging next to you. When you walk by a mirror, window, or wall hanging with glass, check to see that your posture is properly lined up. Remember, your ear should line up with your shoulder, not in front of it. I recommend doing this at each meal time to ensure you’re doing it throughout the day.
  2. Stand with your back against a wall or door, being sure the back of your head, shoulders, buttocks, and heels are touching the surface. Once you are properly against the wall or door, step away, keeping your body as straight as it was against the surface.  Again, do this at least 3 times a day, to keep your posture correct all day. I encourage teachers to implement this during the school day.
  3. When sitting at a desk, especially when using a computer, be sure your back is ALWAYS against the back of the chair. Move further into the chair to do this, or get a cushion, or towel, etc. to fill the gap between your back and the chair. Sitting without proper support will fatigue your back muscles, and cause proper posture when standing again.
  4. BONUS TIP*** RELAX!!*** Stress can cause your shoulders to rise and head to come forward, therefore causing harmful posture issues that can become chronic, and difficult to correct.

Remember, the poster in my office says, “IF YOUR SPINE WAS ON YOUR FACE, YOU’D TAKE BETTER CARE OF IT!” Don’t wait until it’s too late to PREVENT serious spinal conditions.

Leisa-Marie Grgula, D.C.
20235 N. Cave Creek Road
Suite # 110
Phoenix, AZ 85024