There is a growing public opinion and awareness of the importance of good posture. This is not a new topic discussed here on docMIKEblog.com. This author has been quoted as saying: “As the Eyes are the mirror to your Soul, Posture is the mirror to your Health.”
Today we can walk into a number of retail stores and find various products being sold that attest to improving one’s posture. Are they really able to do that? Truth is yes and no. Some are basic supports that can relieve tension and the stress of poor posture but can do little to actually improve the posture. They provide temporary support that reduces the tired feeling at the end of the day, and that is a good thing. But the question remains. Are there posture aids that can actually improve the physical conditions that cause poor posture?
As a Doctor of Chiropractic, a spine and nerve expert in our community, I see how correcting spinal misalignments can certainly have a huge impact on posture, for a variety of reasons. Correcting core defects in spinal alignment has direct and indirect impact on posture and on the muscles strained by improper spinal alignment. So this makes me an authority on the subject of posture. Leveraging the formal training a chiropractor has on the bio-mechanics, on kinetic chains and functional orthopedic testing to identify these defects; I bring this expertise into the evaluation of posture-related aids and products.
At this time the most common products associated with postural stress reduction are: cervical pillows, lumb0-pelvic braces or supports, neck travel pillows, Back Joy pelvic supports, ergonomically designed chairs, etc. Posture correction devices are custom foot orthotics (like those made by Footlevelers) and the upper body braces that pull back the shoulders and re-train the spinal muscles to hold better.
In any effective posture improvement scheme there must be associated exercises to create any lasting changes. Some of these exercises have been developed in New Zealand called the McKenzie exercises, a form of extension exercise focus. The best time to address poor posture issues are the teenage years (as the tree is bent so grows the tree). Posture can also be affected by overly contracted ligaments so stretching of the hamstrings for example can improve lower back issues that cascade upward to adversely affect posture. As you can see posture can be improved and with the use of good exercise, stretches and properly designed and smartly manufactured products; and as more posture aids will come on the market I will be happy to review and report on these.
Yours in Health,