How the Way You Walk and Hold Your Body Affects Your Health
Did you know that, for every inch forward that your head moves, you put about 10 pounds of pressure on your neck, shoulders and back? If you’re spending hours every day leaning forward over a keyboard, that’s a lot of stress…it’s akin to carrying a small child all day long.
It should come as no surprise, then, that posture and gait can play a significant part in whether you experience chronic pain, as well as the extent of your discomfort. Slouching forward, whether you’re sitting at a desk or crossing the street, has been shown scientifically to cause more than a stiff neck, sore shoulders or an aching back, too. It’s been tied to everything from migraine headaches to hip and ankle pain. Furthermore, over time, bad posture can increase the risk of muscle tears and other connective tissue injury, as well as arthritis.
What Is Posture?
At its core, posture looks at the positions of all the joints in your body at a specific time. Because the position of each joint will have an impact on the position of other joints—if your head is leaning forward, your neck, shoulder, back, hip and even ankles joints will need to adjust—the best posture is one that puts the minimal amount of stress collectively on all your joints.
How Will Your Doctor Evaluate Your Posture?
There are two critical components of a posture assessment:
- Your static posture—This is what your posture looks like when you are stationary—sitting, lying down or standing
- Your dynamic posture (typically associated with your “gait”)—This is your posture when your body is in motion, such as walking, running or jumping
For Good Posture, Focus on Your Spine
Medical professionals are near-unanimous in agreeing that the key to good posture is the position of your spine. Ideally, you should be able to run a vertical straight line from your ear lobes to the sides of your ankles, dividing your body essentially in half.
Can Improving Your Posture Minimize Chronic Pain?
In the right circumstances, absolutely. If poor posture or gait are contributing to your pain, retraining your body can take excess pressure off your joints, relieving stress and reducing potential discomfort.
Contact Core Medical Center Today
At Core Medical Center, with offices in Blue Springs, Missouri, we offer comprehensive posture and gait screening to help address issues of chronic pain. Contact us online or call our offices at (816) 226-9957 to schedule an appointment.