By Doctor Rosemarie Jabbour (Chiropractor)
The Importance of Good Posture
Did your mum ever tell you to sit up straight and to watch your posture? Guess what - she was right! Good posture is vital to living a healthy and pain free life as your body is in its natural alignment and can function at optimal levels. In this blog post (one in a series of posture blogs) we discuss sway back posture and how this affects your health.
Here are our top 5 reasons why good posture is important:
You look, feel and act more confident
Good posture takes pressure off your lungs (bad posture reduces lung vital function) and breathing becomes easier and deeper
Good posture decreases abnormal wear and tear on joints
Healthy spine equals optimal health
When your muscles, joints and ligaments are working as nature intended, your vital organs and the nervous system are able to function normally
However, simply sitting up straight will not give you good posture, especially if you have underlying structural issues. Read on as we discuss sway back posture in this posture blog post.
5 Bad Postures to Watch For
Over time, poor posture (including lumbar lordosis, thoracic kyphosis, flat back, sway back, scoliosis and forward head posture), put extra pressure and stress on your spine, shoulders, hips, and knees. These degenerative postures cause or contribute to the following health problems:
What is Sway Back Posture?
You can see in Image 5, the second last outline, a structural representation of sway back posture. Sway back posture, also called hyperlordosis, is setup by tight hamstring muscles pulling the hips out of alignment, weaker muscles such as the glutes and hip flexors not being able to hold a strong posture, and a forward positioning of your hips/pelvis infront of your centre of gravity.
You can observe sway back posture by looking for the following posture indicators:
- Tilted pelvis
- Pelvis positioned forward of your centre of gravity
- Noticeably tight hamstring muscles
- Forward head posture
- Upper back curvature
- Sunken chest
These indicators are all visible in Image 3. Can you relate to any of these or do you see your posture in one of the above images?
As a consequence of your pelvis being pulled forward, your upper body changes position in what's called a compensatory adaption. Your head, upper back and chest shift away from normal alignment into this new compensatory position, creating a new set of structural problems.
Sway Back: problems associated with tight hamstrings
- Tight hamstrings pull the pelvis out of alignment
- Extra stress and pressure is placed on your back, contributing to back pain
- Other concerns include disc degeneration, nerve interference and bulging discs
Sway Back: problems associated with forward head posture
- Headaches and migraines
- Neck tension and tight muscles
- Stress on the spinal cord and nervous system
- Feelings of irritability and discomfort
Sway Back: problems associated with a curved upper back
- Development of a hunch
- Reduction in natural height
- Tight chest muscles
- Weaker upper back muscles
Sway Back: problems associated with sunken chest
- Reduction in internal organ vital capacity
- Difficulty breathing
- Tight, shortened chest muscles
Treatment Options for Sway Back Posture
You need to fix your posture before you can fix your pain. The underlying structural issues need to be addressed to correct poor posture. If you're crooked on the outside chances are you will be crooked on the inside.
- A thorough chiropractic exam and check up can determine if the cause of your pain and poor posture is from an underlying structural misalignment
- A series of chiropractic adjustments aim to increase joint range of motion, increase flexibility, take pressure of the nervous system and restore a more normal alignment to your spine and pelvis
- Specific stretches, exercises and other forms of manual therapy tailored to address the problems associated with sway back posture also help
Other Things You can do to Help
- Avoid sleeping on your stomach
- Improve posture at home and work
- Choose ergonomic office chairs and sit properly behind a computer
- Adjust your car seat to provide maximum support to your lower back
- Try functional training to engage and activate a wider variety of functional muscles
Improve Posture Today
It's never too late to take better care of your spine and nervous system. To book a chiropractic consultation at New World Chiro please phone or email us today.