It can be hard to maintain proper posture in today’s world. Sitting at desks four hours and spending time craning our necks to look at our phones can take a toll. But it’s never too late to fix your posture.
Chiropractors take an all-around, full-body approach to help with posture. They use chiropractic adjustments to correct misalignments, stretches and massage to strategically correct muscle weakness, and lifestyle tips to turn bad posture habits into good ones. Read on to find out how a chiropractor can help with posture.
First, let’s take a look at some common questions about bad posture and chiropractic care.
Can A Chiropractor Correct Bad Posture?
Chiropractors are uniquely suited to correct bad posture. Although they deal in the entire musculoskeletal system, chiropractors spend much of their time making sure the spine is healthy. Because when the spine is healthy, the rest of the body tends to function better.
Correcting your posture isn’t just about looking better, standing taller, and feeling more confident. It’s also about your health in general. People with poor posture are constantly putting pressure on their spinal discs, which can increase the chances of back pain and injury.
Maintaining the natural S-curve of the spine is important for maintaining the spine’s neutral posture. Essentially this means that the spine is structurally sound when in its natural curvature. When your posture is poor, it causes the spine to come out of proper alignment, which means it’s structurally vulnerable.
Since your nervous system travels through the spine, poor posture can affect how the rest of your body feels, and even the movement of other joints in the body.
There are many causes of poor posture. Improper lifting can contribute to bad posture. Even carrying a baby can cause back pain and posture issues, when done improperly. Often it isn’t just one thing, but a combination of the following:
- Weight Gain
- Carrying Heavy Backpacks
- Wearing High Heels
This is why fixing posture isn’t just as simple as remembering to stand up straight.
Signs You Have Poor Posture
Many people don’t realize they have bad posture until they start experiencing issues. Posture isn’t something most of us are conscious of until it needs fixing. So, here are some signs you have bad posture:
- Regular headaches
- Pain at the front of your shoulders
- Neck pain
- Stiff upper back
- Rounded upper back
- Rounded shoulders
- Jutting head
Can Chiropractors Straighten the Spine Without Surgery?
Chiropractors never use surgery to fix posture— or any other problem for that matter. Chiropractic care is non-invasive and drug-free. A chiropractor will take a whole-body approach to poor posture, getting at the root of the problem instead of simply addressing the symptoms.
Any kind of spinal surgery comes with inherent risks, so it’s always best to exhaust conservative treatment options first. Some extreme circumstances may warrant surgery, but most posture correction doesn’t require surgery at all.
How Long Does It Take?
Unfortunately, posture correction isn’t usually a quick process. But, depending on the degree of your poor posture, you could be standing up straighter in just a few weeks. If you’re experiencing pain from poor posture, chiropractic care can provide relief in as little as one to three sessions.
But posture correction isn’t all about chiropractic visits. There are things that you’ll need to do on your own time to help correct the imbalance. Here’s a look at a typical posture correction diagnosis and treatment.
- Medical history
- Thorough examination and diagnosis
- Measuring any posture imbalances and misalignments
- Pain relief (if necessary)
- Spinal adjustments
- Stretches and physical therapy
- Exercises (often performed at home)
- Lifestyle and ergonomic tips
How long it takes to fully correct your posture will depend on the severity of the issue and the diagnosis your doctor of chiropractic performs. It’s not an overnight fix, but once it’s fixed, you won’t have to constantly remind yourself to stand or sit up straight.
Chiropractic Care and Posture Correction
Different types of poor posture require slightly different techniques to fix. Here are some of the most common types of poor posture that chiropractors fix.
Forward Head Posture
Forward head posture, sometimes called tech neck, is exactly what it sounds like. It’s often the result of keeping your head jutting out over your chest to look at a phone, read a book, or type on a computer.
Fixing tech neck is generally a matter of muscle strengthening and spinal alignment combined with good habits. Your chiropractor will likely give you some simple stretches to do at home and tell you to set an alarm so you don’t spend more than 30 minutes or an hour staring at a screen in front of you.
Hunchback posture is another term for kyphosis, which can be the result of poor posture or it can be congenital. Either way, chiropractic care can help. Those who have a “hunched” back due to poor posture can benefit greatly from chiropractic care.
Spinal adjustments are often used in the middle back to “teach” the spine proper alignment. This, combined with muscle stretching and strengthening, and lifestyle tips can go a long way to correct this type of posture.
Slouching can mean a few different things. Sometimes slouching is a natural byproduct of forward head posture. Usually it’s characterized by rounded shoulders, creating a hollow chest and an unnaturally rounded upper back. Another term for this is Dowager’s hump, chiropractic care can help with spinal adjustments, stretches, and exercises.
How A Chiropractor Can Help With Posture
Poor posture can cause all kinds of problems throughout the body. It can make one’s shoulders uneven, cause hip misalignments, and weaken the structure of the spine. Many people who suffer from bad posture also suffer from back pain. They have trouble sleeping with back pain and doing everyday activities that give their lives meaning.
The good news is that chiropractic care can help fix poor posture. But since it doesn’t take only one day for a person’s posture to degrade, it doesn’t take only a day for a chiropractor to fix it.
Luckily, many people experience posture-related pain relief quickly. And as the pain goes away, it becomes easier to work with your chiropractor to improve your posture. Pretty soon, you don’t have to think about it anymore; you just maintain the proper posture automatically!