Monday, March 8, 2010
HOW IS YOUR POSTURE? (as featured in March's Newsletter)
DO YOU HAVE BACK PAIN? SHOULDER PAIN? HEADACHES?
IT COULD BE CAUSED BY YOUR POSTURE!
A normal thoracic (mid/upper-back) spine has a naturally occurring curve. However, abnormal excessive curvature of the thoracic spine does occur. There are a few medical conditions that can cause this, such as osteoporosis, but the majority of people will experience excessive thoracic spine curvature due to poor posture!
With the growing amount of time we spend hunched over at the computer or slouched while driving or watching TV, excessive thoracic spine curvature is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society. Even if you are one of the more active individuals, certain sports and exercises can also predispose you to this posture such as cycling.
This excessive curvature triggers chain reactions through the body, often leading to painful conditions:
• The resulting decrease in available movement of the mid/upper-back causes an increase in movement in the neck and low-back. This can cause these areas to become irritated and painful. So what you thought was a sore low back could be stemming from a stiff mid/upper back!
• Prolonged slumped sitting causes the pelvis to tilt backward which leads to a permanent lengthening and stretching of ligaments and muscles. Over a long period, the accompanying neural and connective tissue incorrectly adapt and this can be difficult to remedy.
• While standing, excessive thoracic curvature causes the low-back to compensate by excessively curving in the opposite direction. This causes increased pressure on the low-back spinal joints and discs, which could lead to disc degeneration and potentially disc prolapses, commonly known as ‘slipped-disc’.
• Pain and grinding under the shoulder blade is linked to excessive thoracic spine curvature. The shoulders roll forward which contributes to inflammation of the rotator cuff tendon, and to shoulder impingement pain experienced when the arm is lifted, making overhead exercises difficult.
• Poor posture forces the neck and head to move forward which can cause neck pain and headaches!
So, what kind of posture do you have? If you have poor posture, it is imperative that you correct it before these injuries and conditions develop!