Postural Assessment

Posture- Why it Matters

Posture and motion don’t only affect how long you live, but also how well you live.  People with strong postures recover faster from injuries, exercise more effectively, have less pain, have a more positive outlook on life, and even look more youthful.

  • Health: Studies show poor posture is a major cause of back and neck pain for all ages, and over time often contributes to digestive, respiratory and cardiopulmonary problems such as shortness of breath and high blood pressure. Bad postures also negatively affect your mood contributing to mild/moderate depression, low self-confidence, decreased focus, stress and fatigue.
  • Performance Optimal athletic performance requires strong posture and balance. Whether athletics are recreational, competitive or part of an active lifestyle, good posture is essential to perform at your best and avoid injury.
  • Appearance: Your posture is how the world sees you. People with strong posture look better, more appealing, younger, more radiant, slimmer, and are perceived to be more confident.

Posture and Chiropractic

As a part of your initial consultation, and subsequent re-exams, we will analyze your posture using the latest computerized postural assessment technology.  

Each session of your chiropractic care plan will move you towards improving balance, alignment, and posture. Overtime you’ll be surprised at the difference in how you feel, and even how others see you. 

To learn more, call us at 971-454-760

More on Posture and Health

Exacerbating arthritis

Poor posture can lead to malalignment of your spine or knees, which can increase stress on your knees. This can be particularly detrimental if you suffer from arthritis of the knees, says Dr. Chris Wolf, a sports medicine and regenerative orthopedic specialist at Bluetail Medical Group in Chesterfield, Missouri. “Over time, that malalignment can worsen the effects of arthritis by putting pressure on one part of the joint and causing pain. The pain can decrease your overall function and quality of life.”

Fatigue

Poor posture can negatively affect your energy level, says Dr. Stacey Pierce-Talsma, an associate professor of osteopathic manipulative medicine at Touro University in Vallejo, California. “When we have poor posture, we add tension and compression to structures that weren’t meant to bear that weight. These stresses and strains build up over time and wear down our bones, joints and ligaments, even changing the way our muscles fire,” Pierce-Talsma says. “Not only can poor posture add stress and strain, it can also cause you to become fatigued more quickly. This occurs because poor posture and gait require much more energy and work to maintain and compensate for. The more efficient we can be in our good posture, movement and gait, the more we can improve our energy efficiency.”

Mood 

Research suggests poor posture can negatively affect your mood. For example, a study published in March 2017 in the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry found that “adopting an upright posture may increase positive affect, reduce fatigue and decrease self-focus” in people with mild to moderate depression. In the study, 61 volunteers who had mild to moderate depression were asked to recite a speech, a task known to cause stress. Some of the participants sat with their usual posture, while others sat upright. The people who sat upright spoke more than the other group and used fewer first-person singular personal pronouns, the study found. A 2014 study published in Health Psychology produced similar results. In that research, 74 people were randomly assigned to either sit slumped or upright and were asked to complete a reading task and recite a speech. People who sat upright reported a higher self-esteem, a higher level of alertness, a better mood and less fear than those who slouched. 

Forward head posture 

Forward head posture is a common condition that occurs when your head is aligned forward in relation to your spine, says Mark Gugliotti, assistant professor of physical therapy at New York Institute of Technology School of Health Professions. “Ideally, a healthy head and neck relationship would align a person’s ear with his or her shoulder when viewing them from the side,” Gugliotti says. “As the head progressively lurches forward over time, the individual may succumb to a myriad of musculoskeletal dysfunctions impacting various systems of the body.” This condition can tighten some muscles and weaken others, he says, leading to neck pain caused by muscle strain and tension headaches.

Jaw pain

Poor posture can lead to temporomandibular joint syndrome, which is also known as TMJ, says Anne Bierman, a physical therapist with Athletico Physical Therapy in the Chicago area. As poor posture misaligns the spine, it can also cause an improper bite pattern, which affects your temporomandibular joints – the two joints that connect your jawbone to the temporal bones of your skull. “These joints function similarly to a hinge, allowing you to open and close your mouth,” Bierman says. “Poor posture in the neck and shoulders, or forward head posture, can cause these delicately balanced joints to become misaligned. When the jaw joints are misaligned, they’re more likely to pop, lock, cramp or even go into spasms, resulting in jaw pain and difficulty chewing.”

Breathing efficacy 

To breathe properly, your diaphragm needs to have enough space in the thoracic cavity to properly release and contract with each breath, Bierman says. Your ability to breathe optimally is boosted when your body is lengthened and in proper alignment. Poor posture and spine misalignment can compromise your ability to breathe well, she says. “Breath quality is important because the body needs to have oxygen in order to restore and rejuvenate the cells,” Bierman says. Full, deep breaths help promote a healthy brain, heart and other vital organs, she says. 

Headaches

Bad posture can contribute to tight neck muscles and compromise the natural curvature of your spine, which can lead to headaches, says Dr. Mariam Keramati, a physician with the physical medicine and rehabilitation department at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore. “Tight neck muscles can send pain radiating up to the head,” Keramati says.

Shoulder and back pain 

Poor posture can contribute to shoulder pain, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can lead to rotator cuff tendons pressing on the coracoacromial arch of your shoulder, which causes pain when you move or lie on the side of the affected shoulder. Bad posture can also lead to the shortening and contraction of the lumbar muscles, which can contribute to unhealthy tightness and lower back pain, says Sarah Luna, senior vice president of operations for Club Pilates, a boutique fitness franchise based in Costa Mesa, California. Back pain can also be caused by “military posture,” in which someone tries to stand or sit up ramrod straight, lifting his or her chest and causing the lower back muscles to work too hard, says Isa Herrera, a physical therapist in New York City who’s written five books about women’s health. “I call this the ‘trying real hard to look straight’ posture,” she says. “Typically this person would suffer from aching and unrelenting pain and burning in the upper back muscles. It also contributes to lower back pain, since pushing out your chest will cause your lower back to overextend.”

Longevity

A study of height loss conducted by researchers at the University of London concluded that men who lost the most height had a much greater risk of dying as compared to those losing less. The physical restriction of the lungs and abdominal organs caused significantly greater risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and respiratory mortality.