How Maple Grove Chiropractors Help with Long-Term Posture Improvements
Chiropractor for posture. At its most basic, posture is defined by the position of your spine, shoulders, and hips when walking, sitting, standing, running, or lying down. Most people struggle with poor posture at some point in their lives.
Ideal or good posture keeps your spine in correct alignment, distributes your weight evenly across your body, and ensures that you don’t strain or overstretch your muscles, joints, or ligaments. Less strain means reduced wear and tear on these body parts, which reduces the risks of painful inflammation and injuries.
The overall concept of healthy posture is simple enough. But not everyone can describe it in detailed terms. Here’s how we define good posture for our Maple Grove patients:
Good posture while standing or walking:
- Head held high, and chin is parallel with the ground when looking straight ahead
- Neutral spine, straight back and relaxed shoulders
- Stomach is gently pulled in
- Weight is distributed evenly on both feet
Poor posture while standing or walking:
- Forward head posture or head hanging low
- Back and shoulders are rounded and hunched over
- Stomach sticks out
- One side of the body bears more weight than the other
While most people would love to have perfect posture, many people don’t give it much thought until problems arise. Over time, poor posture can lead to one or more of the following health issues:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Forward head posture
- Rounded shoulders
- Rounded upper back
- Arched lower back
Although there are stretches and exercises you can do at home to improve bad posture, a chiropractor can help you deliver longer-lasting results in shorter timeframes.
Do You Really Need a Chiropractor for Poor Posture?
You may think that fixing your bad posture is only a matter of paying attention to your body and correcting its position. However, most people who take that approach soon realize that they can’t think about their posture all the time. Holding our body a certain way is similar to breathing — we can focus on it and consciously control it. Still, most of the time, it happens unconsciously.
After disappointing results from the DIY approach, you may ask yourself, “can a chiropractor fix posture problems?” Yes! Beyond easing the aches and pains caused by poor posture, chiropractors get to the root of the issue. They help you make improvements that allow you to maintain excellent posture without much conscious control.
What are the Causes of Bad Posture, and How do Chiropractors Address Them?
Many things lead to poor posture. Some variables are within our control, and some are not. Let’s go over the most common obstacles:
Conditions that people are born with, such as congenital scoliosis, make the body assume uncomfortable and painful positions. Even though the condition is mostly outside of a patient’s control, Maple Grove chiropractors can offer help in the form of therapies that treat and manage scoliosis.
Sports and Work Injuries
Injuries from playing sports, working physically demanding jobs, and getting into car accidents also negatively affect how a person holds their body. For example, whiplash compromises the ligaments and muscles in the neck, which is why a cervical collar is often used to provide temporary support to the head and stabilize the spine. Chiropractors for work injuries and car accidents specialize in helping patients restore and even improve their pre-injury mobility and posture.
Added Body Weight
Human joints and spines tend to bend and curve abnormally when accommodating the weight of a growing fetus or fat from unhealthy eating habits. These are also treatable with help from a clinic like Total Spine Health and Injury Center in Maple Grove. Chiropractors provide therapies that help pregnant women and can provide referrals and resources for weight loss and fitness regimens.
Insufficient Physical Activity and Bad Habits
Lack of exercise and other physical activities may also weaken the back and core muscles responsible for sustaining good posture. But even with sufficient physical activity, a person may develop bad habits like slouching, wearing improper footwear, carrying heavy shoulder bags, or constantly looking down at a phone or computer screen.
Massage therapy from a doctor of chiropractic combined with sufficient exercise can minimize pain caused by poor posture, revitalize the muscles, and improve bad posture.
What Steps do Chiropractors Take to Fix Bad Posture?
Even if the cause of your poor posture is outside of your control, you can do a lot more about it than practice better mindfulness. Here are some of the most effective posture treatments your chiropractor may employ:
Range of Motion Assessment and Stimulation
Using this approach, your chiropractor will evaluate characteristics like flexibility and range of motion to diagnose sources of pain and issues related to bad posture. Your chiropractor can help by providing you with guidance on movements such as stretches and body weight exercises to initiate the healing process, increase flexibility, and help your body default to better posture.
Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment
Chiropractic adjustments involve the application of pressure to specific parts of the body in ways that realign the spinal column and other joints. Improving your alignment strengthens your muscles, nerves, and soft tissue to better hold your upper body in an upright and relaxed position.
Beyond spinal adjustments, chiropractors work on several muscles responsible for good posture. When foundational muscles become weak due to injury or lack of use, other muscles are forced to literally pick up the slack. These secondary posture muscles can tense, tighten up, and pull your shoulders and spine into the wrong positions.
Chiropractors use massage therapy, stretches, and strengthening exercises to relieve muscle tension and correct imbalances that compromise the body’s form. With corrective treatment, a patient will achieve proper posture and learn how to sustain it.
Chiropractic care tends to have many immediate benefits, such as increased flexibility and reduced pain and inflammation. This gives patients the false impression that they’re fully healed and no longer need to continue seeing their chiropractor.
Unfortunately, posture correction is not one of those immediate benefits. For example, scoliosis patients often need a couple of months of acute treatment before they begin to feel more balanced. Once an initial treatment plan has finished, your chiropractor can help recommend chiropractic maintenance for long-term posture improvement. Maintenance care helps patients strengthen their neuromuscular system and push beyond their initial recovery baselines to prevent regressing to their previous bad posture habits.
See a Maple Grove Chiropractor for Better Posture
The position you hold yourself in when standing, sitting, and walking — your posture — affects far more than your appearance. It has a significant impact on your health and overall well-being.
Fixing lousy posture on your own is extremely difficult. And even if you can consistently remind yourself to sit or stand up straight, you’re just addressing a surface-level symptom – not the root of the issue. You need the expertise and help of a chiropractor to fix misalignments, muscle imbalances, and injuries that affect posture. Then, you need maintenance to sustain your gains.
To learn more about proper posture and how to enjoy long-lasting improvements, schedule a consultation with our chiropractic experts today.