Posture is the window to the spine and poor posture can indicate there is a problem with a person’s spine and nervous system.
One of the first indicators of poor posture is a slouching or forward head posture. This posture closes down on lymphatic drainage in the neck and will cause more strain on the posterior neck muscles. It also increases the weight bearing on the discs and can lead to premature arthritis of the neck. There are many causes of this type of posture including car accidents, sports injuries, working with computers and loss of bone density.
Most people involved in automobile accidents in which the head in whipped back and forth will suffer loss of the normal spinal curvature in the neck. When this occurs, the weight of the head, approximately 12 pounds or so, is displaced and places pressure on the discs, muscles and nerves of the cervical spine. This leads to muscle strain in order to balance the weight of the head and uneven wearing of the discs and joints of the cervical spine.
Another common posture problem is a forward tilt of the pelvis causing anterior weight bearing, an increase in the lumbar lordosis (curvature) and associated muscle weakness. This can lead to chronic lower back pain, muscle pain, sciatica, leg weakness, lower extremity circulation problems and much more. The abnormal spinal weight bearing associated with this type of posture can lead to premature spinal arthritis of the joints and discs.
Chiropractors are experts at analyzing posture and spinal problems. They are trained in the art of detection. A doctor of chiropractic searches for the problems that exist underneath poor posture. Analyzing spinal curvatures and alignment, the doctor searches for the problems that contribute to the postural pattern he or she observes.
Analyzing posture from the front, we look for changes in the stance, i.e. the outward turning of one or both feet. Also, the alignment of the knees, the leveling of the hips or pelvis, the height differences across the shoulders and tilting of the head and neck. From the side we look for forward tilting of the pelvis, forward head translation and increase in the spinal curvatures. All of these changes add up to changes in the spine. We also observe a person while walking to see if there are gait changes. Gait, or the walking cycle, is an important indicator of how improper foot alignment affects spinal posture.
As mentioned above, posture is the window to the spine. Distortions in spinal alignment are indications of vertebral subluxation - a condition treated only by chiropractors. The vertebral subluxation is a misalignment of the spinal vertebra effecting the spinal joints and discs causing changes in nerve function and irritating the spinal musculature. Chronic subluxations lead to spinal disc and joint arthritis. Subluxation affects the function of the nerve and any area of the body supplied by that nerve. Multiple subluxations can affect multiple organs, glands and system of the body leading to ill health.