Every day, the body is in constant rest or active motion when needed, from working to exercising and getting adequate rest to repeat the cycle. However, as the body is in this dynamic/rest motion, unintentionally, many individuals will be hunched forward, causing their posture to be slouched for long periods. To that point, it can cause the surrounding neck, shoulder, and back muscles to be pulled and overly stretched, causing pain when the individual gets out of the reclined position. When a person is constantly being hunched over, the action alone could lead to poor posture, which can cause misalignment to the spine and be associated with many chronic conditions that affect their way of life. Fortunately, various treatments can help alleviate poor posture and its associated symptoms. Today’s article examines what defines good posture, the influences that can affect body posture, and how treatment techniques like MET (muscle energy technique) can help improve posture. We mention our patients to certified medical providers that provide available therapy treatments like MET (muscle energy techniques) for individuals suffering from chronic conditions associated with poor posture that can correlate with overlapping risk profiles. We encourage each patient when it is appropriate by referring them to associated medical providers based on their diagnosis or needs. We understand and accept that education is a marvelous way when asking our providers crucial questions at the patient’s request and acknowledgment. Dr. Alex Jimenez, D.C., uses this information as an educational service. Disclaimer
What Defines Good Posture?
Have you been experiencing referred pain in your neck, shoulders, or lower back? Do you feel pain when stretching after being hunched over throughout the day? Or have you noticed that your neck is slanted, which causes your head to poke in front of your shoulders? Many of these issues are correlated with poor posture. Many of us have heard the saying from our parents, “Stand up straight!” And this is a reminder that having good posture correlates with good spinal health. The book, “Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques,” written by Leon Chaitow, N.D., D.O, and Judith Walker DeLany, L.M.T, mentions that posture is used to describe the static state of the spine. There are two different types of posture: static and dynamic. Static posture is when the body is in motion, while dynamic posture is when the body is resting. So good posture allows the spine to naturally curve with minimal pain affecting the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar regions.
Influences That Affect Body Posture
As stated early, many of us unintentionally hunch our bodies over time. This is one of the issues as we constantly look down on our phones, and as we get older, it can affect our ability to balance ourselves. Research studies reveal that improper posture can affect static and dynamic balance as we age. This means that when we are constantly hunched over as older adults, we are more prone to the risk of falling and causing long-term disability to our bodies. Additional research studies also mentioned that chronic conditions like forward head posture (which correlates to constantly looking down at the phone) could cause a persistent and abnormal contraction of the neck and shoulder muscles to become dysfunctional. To that point, it can cause pressure on the muscles, fascia, and nerves in the cervical-thoracic regions of the body. When bad posture affects the body over time, it can develop into musculoskeletal disorders if not treated immediately.
5 Way To Improve Posture- Video
Have you felt muscle strain on your neck, shoulders, and back? Have you felt relief when you stretch after being hunched over? Do you feel unstable when walking? These issues could be correlated with your posture if you have been experiencing these issues. When it comes to the body, it is important to make sure that maintaining good posture is not just to please your parents but to have a healthy spine. When we are constantly hunched over, it can cause the muscles and connective tissues to have gravitational strain and shorten the length of the muscles. However, realizing that you have poor posture early on can be treated. The video above shows the five best ways to improve your posture and how to strengthen the back, neck, and shoulder muscles from developing chronic conditions. Exercise alone can not be the only solution; combining it with chiropractic therapy allows the body to be fully restored with various techniques to reduce pain-like symptoms.
How The Met Technique Helps Improve Posture
So how would chiropractic care help with improving posture? Many chiropractors use techniques like MET (muscle energy technique) and spinal manipulation to help restore the body to realignment. Studies reveal that the combinations of MET and stretching can help lengthen the short muscles and restore range of motion to the body. Chiropractors use their hands and various tools to help realign the spine from subluxation and return the body to normal while freeing the tense muscles. Chiropractic care decreases the body’s risk of back injuries while reducing wear and tear on the muscles and joints, contributing to poor posture.
Overall, it is important to maintain good posture to prevent unwanted chronic issues from causing pain-like symptoms to the body. Recognizing the problems contributing to poor posture, treatment, and exercise can help stretch and strengthen the back muscles from hunching over. Maintaining good posture allows the body to be pain-free and prevents many unwanted symptoms from developing.
Chaitow, Leon, and Judith Walker DeLany. Clinical Applications of Neuromuscular Techniques. Churchill Livingstone, 2003.
Cohen, Rajal G, et al. “Lighten up! Postural Instructions Affect Static and Dynamic Balance in Healthy Older Adults.” Innovation in Aging, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 24 Mar. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7092748/.
Lee, Joon-Hee. “Effects of Forward Head Posture on Static and Dynamic Balance Control.” Journal of Physical Therapy Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, Jan. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4756019/.
Phadke, Apoorva, et al. “Effect of Muscle Energy Technique and Static Stretching on Pain and Functional Disability in Patients with Mechanical Neck Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial.” Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal : Official Publication of the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association Limited = Wu Li Chih Liao, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 14 Apr. 2016, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6385145/.
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The information herein on "Tips On Maintaining Good Posture Using The MET Technique" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional, or licensed physician, and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make your own healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*
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