If most people stand long enough or sit in one position long enough they will find that they start to ache in several locations due to poor posture. When standing many people find it easier to stand on one leg and then switch to the other. While sitting many people tend to slouch, sit with their head forward while staring at the computer screen, and overall are unbalanced. In this article we will give tips on how to help coax your body back towards balance and at the same time offer a natural solution that can get to the underlying cause of postural imbalance-Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care.
What Is Postural Imbalance?
If you look at a person from the back the head should be straight, both shoulders left and right should be balanced, the hips should be level and the feet should both be balanced with the other. (fig.1) From the side, if one dropped a plumb line the ear hole should be directly above the bump in your shoulder
(acromium), and in line with the greater trochanter of the hip, and in line with the ankles. When all of these factors are balanced it is an indication that your postural muscle tone, which is controlled by the central nervous system, is functioning optimally. Imbalances in posture are the result of structural misalignemnts in the spine which are interfereing with normal postural muscle tone.
Excersise one - Towel roll exercise for cervical spine and lumbar spine:
This particular exercise is good for opening the spinal joints and encouraging the normal spinal curves in the neck and lumbar spine to return to normal. This exercise is exceedingly more successful when it is used in combination with upper cervical corrective care. Below is a video that explains the towel roll exercise:
Exercise two - Chin Neck Glide:
The chin neck glide is a modified Mckenzie exercise that helps the joints in the neck keep their normal motion. Most people have the most common postural fault, anterior head bearing, and the Mckenzie exercise is one exercise that can help. This exercise is exponentially more effective if the person is under upper cervical corrective care. Below is a video that helps explain what this exercise entails:
-Breathe out and feel the connection of your feet on the floor.
-Every time you breathe out, feel heavy and stable, “grounded” from the waist down.
-Once you have found the “grounding”, keep focusing on that as you exhale and every time you inhale feel lightness and length from the waist upward.
-Keep breathing in this way for a few minutes, with the sensations of both grounding and lightness in mind. Our breath and our focus help us feel stable and tall at the same time.
Most people these days are inactive, and are sitting for many hours a day in a hunched position. This causes shortening in the muscles. Stretching is a great way to help maintain normal posture. Most Americans have tight hamstring muscles(muscles in back of legs). When the hamstrings are tight they have a pulling effect on the spine and can flatten the lower back curve.
While standing bend over at the waist and just hang. Take a deep breath in and on exhale relax everything and hang further. You will find on each exhale you will reach down a little further. Do 10 cycles of deep inhale and exhale daily. You will be amazed at how quickly you can increase your flexibility with this simple exercise and how it can take pressure off the lower back.
Upper Cervical Chiropractic is a little known procedure that deals with the intimate relationship of the top two bones in the neck, the brain-stem and the central nervous system. Trauma in prior years can set the stage for postural faults. Because the brain-stem controls the postural muscle tone throughout the body, structural misalignments at the base of the skull can interfere with normal posture.
In our Los Angeles offices one of the most common things we see on x-ray is a loss of cervical normal cervical neck curve – hypolordosis. This is in direct response to increased muscle tightening of the cervical spine which pulls the neck straight. In a chain reaction the body adapts by increasing the tone of the mid back muscles to compensate for the forward head posture. Also the imbalance in tone causes the head to be off center, one shoulder higher than the other, and one leg or pelvis higher than the other.
Above we discussed simple exercises that can be done that can help bring this into balance. While the exercises are helpful the underlying cause of the muscle tone imbalance is the lack of postural control at the brain-stem level. When the root of the problem is fixed the exercises can help the body regain its loss of postural balance.
Many health problems can be part and parcel to postural imbalance. Low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, insomnia and other non musculoskeletal problems can be tied back to brain-stem irritation and interference.
Our Los Angeles offices offer a FREE consultation to determine if our care can help you recover your lost health. You can schedule by clicking on this link.
Dr. Hall has been the president of the BLAIR Upper Cervical Chiropractic Society for nine years. He is a BLAIR technique instructor and has been practicing the procedure for 16 years seeing over 9000 patients. Dr. Hall runs two offices, one in Los Angeles the other in Carson.
The Blair Upper Cervical Chiropractic Technique is a specific system of analyzing and adjusting the upper cervical vertebrae of the spinal column. These vertebrae can misalign in such a way as to interfere with the brainstem and spinal cord as they exit through the floor of the skull into the neural canal.