What does your posture say about you? Is it whispering I’m tired? Is it screaming I’ve driven all the way from LA and I’m just trying to make it home? How about I’m a teenager and not going to pay attention to you. Yes, our posture can say a lot about what’s going on in our minds. But did you know it is also a window to what’s going on in your spine? And that slouch you carry yourself around with gives your overall health the short end of the stick. So sit up straight and pay attention while we straighten out the importance of posture.
Let begin with anterior head carriage for starters. The average noggin weighs about 12 pounds. So does a bowling ball. Normally your head should sit square just over your shoulders. Often we jet our neck forward and our head sits in front instead of over our shoulders.
Too many hours in a chat room or behind a wheel can cause this. Here’s where the bowling ball comes in. It’s much more difficult to hold a bowling ball out in front of you instead of right up next to your body. And your body struggles just to hold your head up when it’s way out in front of you.
You can easily spot anterior head carriage on your neighbor by just catching a side view. But what about on yourself? Try this, find an empty wall and back up to it. Your butt, the back of your head and your shoulders should all hit the wall in perfect synchronicity. If your back hits first, your head is a step in front of you. And if your shoulders don’t hit you could be starting to get the oh so attractive back hump.
So what’s the price here? Are Molly Manner’s feelings going to be hurt? Well you could imagine the muscles in the back of your neck having to work extra hard craning your head out there. Form and structure go hand in hand so all this extra pressure on the discs or joints between your neck bones can translate to premature arthritis.
Just picture the bones in your neck building tiny unstable bridges in a sorry attempt to brace the area. And it does not stop there. Poor posture slows down lymphatic drainage in the neck. And we’ve only picked on the neck so far. The body also gets in a tizzy when our shoulders roll forward or when our beer gut rocks our pelvis forward.
If your body is pulling overtime just to stand up, important work like healing damaged cells or keeping your hormones in balance might end up left on the desk.
Tune in next week while we use other investigative tools to check your posture (like your shoes) and to find out if your strut makes the cut.
Is your strut worthy of the catwalk? Much can be said about how someone carries themselves. On the surface, your swagger, or in nerd terms your gait pattern, can say a lot. It can reek with confidence or mop around in despair. But though the eyes of a chiropractor your gait gives away how your bones stack up on the inside. Last week we focused on posture without moving but now it’s time to study our stance on the run.
As humans we are all top heavy. Two skinny little legs holding up our whole body. We began to use those legs around our first birthday and we all feel as if we’ve got it down by now. But just because you’ve been doing it most of your life doesn’t mean there’s no room for improvement. Some of us look down while we walk, straining the back of our necks. We should be gazing about 15 feet ahead of us. For those of us that don’t swing our arms enough when were walking, our hands might swell up after a long trot. What about those of us with a snag in our hips? Well you might not be able to swing them up enough while taking a step. This bares the signature of a chronically stubbed toe due to lack of clearance.
Our abdominal muscles should be active to keep our hips tucked in. Most importantly is something called the cross-crawl mechanism. Very simply stepping with one leg should cause the other arm to go forward. A whole crew of muscles has to relax while another group contacts. And all your muscles must take turns working in the right order.
What, you don’t have a full wall mirror to study your strut? Well let’s look in your closet. A used pair of shoes can be read like a book. Look at how the tread is worn down. If your shoes are balding on the insides you might be looking at falling arches in your feet or possibly you’re knocked kneed. What about wear on the outsides of your shoes? That could be a number of things including weak ankles. And if one shoe is warned down and the other not, chances are your hips are tilted causing your feet to hit the ground with unequal force.
Now that you’re a wise walker with pretty posture, what can you do next? Staying conscious of it is a start. Go to a chiropractor to make sure you’re all stacked up right. A good yoga practice can also help achieve balance. Some therapy to repair a clipped wing might be necessary too. And yes crawling (of all things) for five minutes a day can help connect that left, right coordination.
So how is your form? You can face the day slumped over waiting for life to happen to you, or you can stand up straight, breath deep and take on the day.