Updated: Feb 17
Posture. It's not just that thing your parents nag you about. Posture is actually a very important indicator for health. Why is that? Because your posture is like a window to your spine. Any postural differences or distortions from normal give us insight into how well your spine is holding up against gravity, which is always pulling down on us. The spine is the major structure of the body, so if your posture is off, chances are that your spine is off too. Not only that but your spine is intimately linked to your nervous system. If the spine is in a less than ideal position, it will put stress and tension on the delicate tissue of your nervous system and how it functions.
To what degree posture affects the spine and nervous system depends on the individual. That's because posture often gets thrown off due to life events like different slips, falls, and accidents, as well as age, physical activity level, and daily repetitive actions and tendencies. Needless to say, two people could have a similar looking posture on the outside, but different looking spines on the inside and consequently different symptoms they experience. This is a key point, because that is the very reason why we see an exercise work for one person to "correct their posture," but it may not work with another person.
Specific chiropractic care can help with the original injured areas that originally threw the body off balance. Chiropractic adjustments have also shown to immediately improve the nervous system by relieving stress and strain on the spine in recent studies. This is where we first start with most patients. In our office we use the Gonstead technique, which is considered a gold standard for precision in manual adjustive techniques within the chiropractic community.
Regaining function and flexibility is foundational to longevity and long term health and healing! Once the spine is under less stress and is more flexible, it's the ideal time to incorporate things like rehab to make global postural improvements.
This is where Chiropractic Biophysics (CBP) really shines. It is one of the most researched chiropractic structural rehabilitative techniques, and is all about restoring normal spinal curvature to a person. "But wait, isn't everyone different? How do I know 'normal' is normal for me?" Great question! So with CBP, there are specific measurements in x ray analysis that look at certain anatomical features unique to each person to determine what their normal is in relation. For example, in the neck, there is a specialized measurement of the angle of the ribcage to see if textbook normal is normal for the individual or not. There is a similar one in the pelvis as well. This helps us know where to correct as well as how much change we should aim for.
The CBP rehab is as unique as the person. It can help from mild lost, straight or reversed curves to scoliosis. Most importantly, it has reliable research to show that curve restoration in the spine is correlated to symptom relief that ranges from pain to organ dysfunction. There is even evidence of posture influencing mood and perception of quality of life!
With any highly specialized technique, CBP does require someone who is trained. I did the basic certification in 2014 and still use every bit of information I learned today. I think CBP is so synergistic with the Gonstead technique in that improvement in proper posture and position helps hold the adjustment longer, and that specific adjustments help increase flexibility and strength to allow the CBP rehab to work more effectively.
Posture is not just a cosmetic outer image that you can exercise away. Proper posture needs in depth analysis because poor posture is a result of a combination of traumas and life events that the body has adapted to and is as unique as a fingerprint to each individual. Take care of your body and take note of your posture! If you see it is off, it might be worth getting a chiropractic evaluation to avoid undue stress to the body!