Individuals do not have a poor posture on purpose. It becomes a habit that just goes on until discomfort or pain is present. Body awareness is known as proprioception. Proprioception is known as muscle sense or joint position sense. This is the subconscious nature of the body’s understanding of its position in space and the ability to position ourselves comfortably.
Achieving proper and healthy posture means there needs to be a constant mindset of staying aware of how the body is positioned. Regular body position adjustments are required to maintain healthy body awareness and avoid getting into bad habits. To illustrate this, consider walking forward in complete darkness. The body knows its relative position even without seeing and understanding its existence in space. This is a function of the brain.
It is part of the subconscious and has little to no control over it. Because of this, individuals begin to lapse into poor poster habits. An example tilting the head when looking forward or all the way down when checking the phone. Over time, these bad habits contribute to spinal misalignment. This is where chiropractic can help individuals realize their proprioception tendencies, actively relearn and strengthen positive body awareness, and break away from negative postural habits.
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Body Awareness Habits
Laying the groundwork for correcting body awareness involves understanding the body’s unconscious habits and the damage occurring. Chiropractic is highly effective for outlining what is happening with the help of radiological imaging and spinal curvature benchmarks. Once an individual begins to understand how their posture and spine health are being affected, they can make adjustments to combat this. This requires constant vigilance by the individual to actively realize and correct proprioception.
Optimal Body Exercises
For individuals that have engaged in dysfunctional habits for years, a chiropractor may recommend optimal loading exercises. This process teaches how to better balance the body for optimal posture development. For example, a chiropractor will have a patient strengthen a weak leg that is shifting the body’s weight to the other dominant leg resulting in unbalanced weight distribution and causing hip and back pain.
Another example of optimal loading may include executing a series of motions/movements with the non-dominant side. The goal of optimal loading is to train the brain to balance the body in a healthier fashion instead of reverting to a bad habit.
Ergonomics can also help correct dysfunctional proprioception. They can help to address specific defaults of the subconscious. For example, positioning a computer screen at the correct height and angle can improve the habit of turning or tilting the head. Another example is utilizing custom foot orthotics to balance the feet and prevent pronation. A chiropractor can determine precisely where the ergonomic intervention will have a significant effect in correcting dysfunctional proprioception.
Chiropractic postural adjustments, optimal loading exercises, and ergonomics are recommended for rehabilitating and preventing bad posture habits. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic will explore every possible approach to help patients understand and overcome the body’s bad habits and help them achieve optimal spine health.
Muscles get weaker with too much sitting
The gluteal muscles, abdominal muscles, and legs become dormant when sitting. Sitting for extended periods day after day causes these muscles to begin to degenerate. Metabolism is linked with body composition. Having more muscle increases metabolism and helps the body burn more calories.
Any muscle loss, especially from the largest muscle group’s lower body, can lead to progressive fat gain if the diet is not adjusted. With time gradual muscle loss from the lower body can hurt functional strength, and older age increases the risk of falls and affects the quality of life.
Corliss J. Too much sitting linked to heart disease, diabetes, premature death. Harvard Health Blog. www.health.harvard.edu/blog/much-sitting-linked-heart-disease-diabetes-premature-death-201501227618. Published January 22, 2015. Accessed January 7, 2017.
Ergonomics for Prolonged Sitting. UCLA Spine Center Web site. spinecenter.ucla.edu/ergonomics-prolonged-sitting. Accessed January 7, 2017.
Florido R, Michos E. Sitting Disease: Moving Your Way to a Healthier Heart. U.S. News & World Report. health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2015/09/14/sitting-disease-moving-your-way-to-a-healthier-heart. Published September 14, 2015. Accessed January 7, 2017.
The information herein on "Body Awareness, Position, Movement, and Chiropractic" 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 healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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