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  • Writer's pictureDr. de Castro

Posture and the Spine

Posture varies from person to person. We all have our own individual structures that help determine how we hold our bodies and move them throughout the day.

But isn't the an ideal posture? The more we learn about the body, the more we discover that MOVEMENT is the best posture. Moving though different positions with the best biomechanical integrity possible for our individual structure is one of the best ways to keep our bodies healthy.

To dive into posture, first let's talk about spinal curves. These curves, like posture, vary from person to person. Some people are just more curvy than others who have a flatter or straighter spine. When we look at posture and spinal curves, we look for when there are changes that SHOULDN'T be there. When these changes are also tied to reports of pain or tightness, it is something we look to address.

We have 4 curves in the spine. The cerivcal, thoracic, lumbar and sacral. These curves alternate directions as you go down the spine, giving an "S" shape when looking at the spinal column from the side. These shape helps gives us both stability and mobility in our day to day movements.

Some of the most common changes we will see in the spinal curves result from muscle tightness and weakness, causing things like anterior head carriage, and an exaggerated lumbar (low back) curve. We can also see things like scoliosis (curves from side to side) as well as degenerative changes causing things like hyperkyphosis (an exaggerated midback curve).

Some of the muscle changes that can happen and change our spinal curves and our posture include:

Long and weak deep cervical flexors & short and tight levator scapula and upper traps (this is usually called by forward head posture)

Tight pectoralis muscles (from rounded shoulders) this can cause winging of the scapula, weakness and even shoulder neck and upper back pain.

Having you posture checked by a chiropractor can help determine where and if you have any of these muscle imbalances! Then we can work on correcting them and making you stand and move with confidence!

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