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Principles of Posture

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Chiropractic Care Helps Create Good Posture

Most of our daily activities work against good posture. We spend large portions of our days sitting in an uncomfortable chair, peering at a computer terminal. Muscles tighten and joints get stiff as we make our way through our daily tasks and responsibilities.

Neck muscles, lower back muscles, thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings), and calf muscles shorten, lose their mobility, and become stiff and sore. Aches and pains add their burdens to chronically poor posture. Over time we become even less of the person we were meant to be.

Chiropractic care helps you reverse these downward spirals. Chiropractic care helps you restore good posture by relieving mechanical stresses and strains and by causing your musculoskeletal system to become more flexible and resilient. The result is improved range of motion, reduced pain, and an enhanced sense of well-being.

Long ago and far away, a fourth-grade teacher told a student to "stand up straight - you look like a pretzel". The unthinking adult only offered criticism. The child was left to try to unkink himself in the ways that probably caused more structural damage.

Most of us think good posture involves thrusting out the chest and pulling back the shoulders. Informing a person that he needs to improve his posture usually results in a sudden, robot-like increase in stature, the person stiffly incorporating most or all of these muscular stresses.

As a direct result of our weak relationship to sound concepts of what good posture actually is, most people have protruding stomachs, slumped shoulders, and necks that protrude far in front of their body's center. Aside from perpetually unattractive aesthetics, such chronically inefficient posture places ongoing strain on back and neck muscles. Poor posture interferes with normal functioning of your heart and lungs. Metabolic processes deteriorate owing to lack of normal oxygen supply. Poor posture not only leads to musculoskeletal problems like chronic back and neck pain, but also is implicated in gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases and many other disorders.

The welcome news is that achieving good posture is not that difficult. Work is required, of course, as well as consistent attention. But the work is not hard - it is merely new and different, for most of us. As we can guess, the key element in good posture is a straight spine. Importantly, straight doesn't mean rigid.

The main consideration here is how to get your spine straight without tightening all your muscles and holding your breath.1 The solution requires a little imagination. Picture in your mind a string dangling from the sky and attaching it to your sternum - your breastbone. You can name this image "hitching your sternum to a star". You dangle from the string like a puppet.

Also, you imagine that the string is supporting all your weight. As a result, your chest lifts up easily and your spine straightens naturally and smoothly.

Another piece to the posture puzzle is to allow your shoulder girdles to rest on your rib cage. You don't have to press your shoulders down to do this - just don't hold them up. Most of us unconsciously tighten our neck and shoulder girdle muscles all day long. By starting to be conscious of what's going on, we can start letting go of tight shoulder girdle muscles. The shoulders will then gently descend and come to rest on top of the rib cage, where they belong.

By paying attention to these basic postural corrections, over time we can develop a posture that is fluid and efficient. We will appear taller, comfortably reaching our full height with grace and ease. Tension and anxiety begin to reduce and we sleep more restfully at night. Good posture is good health.2,3


1Movahed M, et al: Fatigue sensation, electromyographical and hemodynamic changes of low back muscles during repeated static contraction. Eur J Appl Physiol Sep 30, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
2Edmondston SJ, et al: Postural neck pain: an investigation of habitual sitting posture, perception of 'good' posture and cervicothoracic kinaesthesia. Man Ther 12(4):363-371, 2007
3Prins Y, et al: A systematic review of posture and psychosocial factors as contributors to upper quadrant musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents. Physiother Theory Pract 24(4):221-242, 2008

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Testimonial

I slipped on ice in December, landing hard on my behind. I was in excruciating pain and could barely move. It was a Saturday night but I called the office and left a message (new patient, too, found them on Google.) I received a call back first thing Monday morning, they got me right in that day, and I just completed my 3- month treatment plan. I feel so much better and am happy to have found Dr. Ide and his staff.

  ~Amy Hawker

Dr. Ide and his staff are awesome. I had all but given up and I saw his ad. I am s happy to be out of partial pain and I have only gone twice, I cannot wait for the end results. Just to be pain free. Dr. Ide, I thank you so much.

   ~ Patsy Dimond-Spencer

Dr. Ide and his staff have given me my life back. The day I called to make my first appointment I had been suffering from a migraine and severe neck pain for 6 days. This was also after receiving multiple pain injections from my primary physician with no relief. His staff not only verified my insurance was accepted at this location before even offering me an appointment time (which multiple offices will not do this) over the phone but I was able to make an appointment for the same day. Dr. Ide took the time to obtain pertinent patient history and not only explain but he also showed me on my x-rays why I was experiencing pain. He addressed the root of the problem instead of pushing prescriptions to subside your symptoms. HE discussed my POA in detail and reiterated why finishing therapy and continuing home therapy was important. I was hesitant and nervous about my first adjustment but again, he took the time to walk me through each step. Paired with my weekly adjustments I also receive massage therapy. Monica, the massage therapist is incredible. She takes the time to ask specific questions before the massage to ensure she provides the best care possible. Kasey, Dr. Ide's assistant is extremely personable and continues to make sure you feel comfortable throughout your visit. The front staff also provides a warm and welcoming environment. Within my first month of treatment, I'm able to go das without a headache now and I have reduced the frequency of my pain medication. I highly recommend Dr. Ide and his staff!

    ~Leah Craig

Very friendly staff and knowledgeable doctor! After doing a 3 month program, I no longer have daily headaches, back pain or neck pain. Most doctor's adjust your back and send you on your way - Dr. Ide makes sure to turn it into a lifestyle change by improving your posture and fixing any issues you may have. I would definitely recommend him over any chiropractor.

    ~Lauren Dunigan

I always have good service and leave feeling good! The people are nice and all know my name. I really like how they do business for senior citizens... that's a big plus!
~Nancy Matson

Very extensive in the examination. Not like other chiropractors I'd seen who just do a quick adjustment. They diagnosed the problem and are working to correct it with me. They have even went so far as to work out payment arguments for the things my insurance wouldn't cover.

    ~Brandon Ogle

I had neck and shoulder pain since 2010. Ever since I started going to him I have felt better and better!

    ~Andrel Jacobs 

I had ankle problems all my life in my left foot. Dr. Ide adjusted my ankle for me and within one adjustment my ankle felt the best ever. Thanks Dr. Ide!

              A.H.
              Fenton, MI

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