Posture Imbalance & Bad Posture
Postural Imbalance Video Transcript
Postural Imbalance: a Major Culprit in Back Problems
According to an article published on nypost.com titled: ‘Experts say your posture is terrible and wrecking your health’ states that: “Experts say that postural imbalance — long regarded as a mere aesthetic concern that made sufferers appear sloppy — is now known to be a major culprit in back problems that strike more than 80 percent of all Americans at some time in their lives, according to the National Institutes of Health.”
According to another article published in thesun.co.uk “Researchers have found many people over the age of 40 feel restricted by their symptoms, and as such can’t always participate in everyday activities. For 36% of people with back pain, things are so bad they have given up all forms of exercise, while 42% find it difficult to walk comfortably.”
Good posture therefore is not simply good to look at, it’s important for our overall health and a key to prevent muscular-skeletal imbalances, joint and nerve related issues. Having everything in the right place, the way it is designed to be, enables function.
The 11 Most Common types of Postural Imbalance
Rounded Shoulders (Pronated, Forward Rolled Shoulders or Boxer’s Shoulders)
According to medicalnewstoday.com “rounded shoulders is a term used to describe a resting shoulder position that has moved forward from the body’s ideal alignment. Rounded shoulders, sometimes known as “mum posture,” are part of overall postural imbalance, and they can get worse if left untreated.”
There’s a variety of causes that lead to rounded shoulders. From over developed postural imbalance muscles through imbalanced weight training or sport, to boxing, swimming, horse riding, gaming or excessive forwards motion in day-to-day activities with no counter exercises to pull the shoulders back to their normal position.
Rounded shoulders can be corrected using chiropractic care, sports massage, corrective stretches and exercises. If you or a loved one suffers from rounded shoulders it would be a good idea to arrange a full assessment to establish the severity and the best corrective treatment options.
2- (Hyper) Kyphosis (Hunched Back) cause Postural Imbalance
According to the Mayo Clinic “Kyphosis is a curvature of the spine that causes the top of the back to appear more rounded than normal.”
When the curve of the thoracic spine is 45 degrees or more this is considered excessive according to the NHS. Kyphosis causes additional strain on the discs and a hunched over appearance.
At Healing Hands we perform a thorough assessment to measure your spine and posture using X-rays (if clinically required) and cutting edge technology to get a proper assessment of the postural imbalance.
3- Dowager’s Hump (Granny Hump)
According to medicine.net “Dowager’s hump is an abnormal outward curvature of the thoracic vertebrae of the upper back. Compression of the front portion of the involved vertebrae (usually) due to osteoporosis leads to forward bending of the spine (kyphosis) and creates a hump at the upper back. Like most osteoporotic changes, it is often preventable.”
When we conduct our very thorough 45-minute initial Chiropractic assessment we look for early signs of strain in the spine and unusual curvature to heal, and prevent or simply correct as much as possible thereby preventing the Dowagers Hump from fully developing.
4- (Hyper) Lordosis (Excessive Lumbar or Cervical Curve)
According to medicalnewstoday.com “Lordosis is the medical name for an exaggerated inward curve of the spine, often in the neck or lower back.”
Lordosis is more common in the lower back and may contribute to lower back pain or sciatica. During pregnancy it is perfectly normal to curve the lumbar spine into an excessive lordosis to balance the weight of the baby. In some cases, if left untreated post-delivery, this may cause persistent hyper-lordosis which can lead to back pain.
Posture imbalances like hyper-lordosis cause strain on the spine, vertebrae and discs and may promote degeneration and further posture imbalances.
The recommendation for cervical as well as lumbar lordosis is to get it properly examined, complete with X-rays (if clinically required) to ensure a full and proper picture of the issue. Corrective care, stretches and exercises all work together to correct the imbalance.
5- Scoliosis (Lateral Deviation & Rotation) Cause Postural Imbalance
According to the NHS “Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side.” Under normal conditions when we look at the spine whilst in an upright position it’ll show as a straight vertical line if viewed from the back or front.
When we look at the spine from either the left or right side it should have four curves in the right places: sacral, lumbar, thoracic and cervical. With scoliosis the spine curves laterally twisting and curving away from the ideal ranges.
This can be uncomfortable as it can cause pressure on nerves and compression on internal organs. Naturally this may lead to back and neck pain and may cause nerve impingement.
If you or a loved ones suspects to be suffering from this condition book an initial assessment so we can take accurate x-rays (if clinically required), posture pictures and other tests to get a holistic view of the problem and discuss different options for care.
6- Anterior Head Tilt (Text Neck)
According to physiopedia.com a “Text neck is a modern-age term coined by US chiropractor Dr. DL Fishman to describe repeated stress injury and pain in the neck resulting from excessive watching or texting on hand held devices over a sustained period of time. It is also known as Turtle Neck posture or anterior head syndrome. This condition is a growing lifestyle and health condition with the constant growth in mobile user population all over the world”
It’s basically an abnormal form of cervical lordosis that is typically caused through excessive use of technology like texting on a mobile phone, using a tablet or sometimes through gaming.
It causes flattening of the cervical curve (also called the arch of life in Chiropractic) which leads to compression of the disc and greatly increases the chance of developing arthritis. It’s common to be associated with symptoms like stiffness in the neck, neck pain, headaches, pressure on the chest, loss of lung capacity and muscle weakness.
Thankfully it can usually be improved to reduce the pressure and improve the cervical curvature, especially if diagnosed early. At Healing Hands we have an excellent track record of successfully helping clients who suffer from text neck (anterior head tilt) using advanced chiropractic care, deep tissue massage, corrective stretches and exercises.
7- Straight Back (Military Style)
A straight back is a posture imbalance affecting the spine where it has lost all or most of its natural curves. This can affect the lumbar region, thoracic and cervical. We often find this with clients who spend a considerable time in the military as the upright position is sometimes exaggerated which can cause a semi-permanent change.
A straight back can cause disc problems, arthritis, inflammation, back pain, neck pain, headaches, mobility issues and a range of motion issues.
With the correct diagnosis and chiropractic care it’s possible to restore curvature in the spine to promote healing and guide it back to a healthy range.
8- The Hipster (Hip Slouching)
This happens when the hip joint is pushed forwards away from the vertical line thereby causing an arch to form from the back of the legs to the back of the shoulders. This may create friction in the hip joints and pressure on the lumbar region which may cause back pain, neck pain, sciatica as well as balance and coordination issues. Left over time it can affect the knees and ankles too due to incorrect tracking.
It is important to have this properly assessed and corrected at the earliest opportunity as slouched hips tend to cause other posture imbalances over time affecting the spine.
9- Pelvic Tilt (Anterior or Posterior Rotation of the Hips)
According to wikipedia.org “Anterior pelvic tilt is when the front of the pelvis drops in relationship to the back of the pelvis. For example, this happens when the hip flexors shorten and the hip extensors lengthen. Posterior pelvic tilt is the opposite, when the front of the pelvis rises and the back of the pelvis drops.”
It can cause muscle tightness in the pelvic region, friction, wear and tear, lower back problems and issues with tracking that may reflect on the knees and ankles, in particular if you’re a habitual runner.
If you want to get your pelvic tilt checked to understand how far out of range it is, book an initial consultation where we take detailed posture measurements and X-rays (if clinically required) to arrive at the root cause and discuss corrective treatments options based upon your actual measurements.
10- Pelvic Rotation (One Hip Joint Rotated Forwards)
This happens when one hip is further forwards then the other in a seated or standing position. This posture imbalance puts additional strain on the lower parts of the spine and hips and may cause muscle stiffness and impact knees and ankles through improper traction.
Pelvic Rotation can be diagnosed by doing an extensive posture and biomechanical assessment and perhaps an X-ray (if clinically required) to assess the structure. We use advanced chiropractic and corrective exercises as well as deep tissue massage to help realign the hips and rebalance the muscles.
11- Uneven Pelvis (One Hip Higher than the other)
An uneven pelvis causes one hip to be higher than the other, which may put strain on the lower back, and may cause sciatica and friction in the hips.
An uneven pelvis can be caused through accidents or impact injuries, unbalanced physical activity like golf, bad posture over time or specific activities like carrying a baby or toddler on one hip over a long period of time.
Left unchecked it usually develops into lower back pain and may cause inflammation of the sciatic nerve leading to stiffness and achiness in the legs and buttocks.
An uneven pelvis is a very common posture imbalance clients present with and often they are completely unaware of it. Through a comprehensive posture assessment and analysis, plus X-rays (if clinically required) the root cause of the uneven pelvis can be established and a tailored care plan formulated to correct the imbalance.