Posture is a complex interplay between your nervous system and your musculoskeletal system. This is how chiropractic care can fit into the posture story. In order to have good posture, your body and nervous system needs to be working well.
Your posture is determined by the demands that you place on your body. For example, if you spend a lot of time slouched over in front of the computer, your body will get really good at being in this position. If you then wanted to move into a better posture, it feels awkward and you can’t maintain it very long because your body is no longer use to that position.
To help understand this concept, I like using the quote “your body gets good at what it needs to get good at”. Ask yourself, what am I asking my body to get good at?
With that in mind, let’s check your posture.
Most people want to improve their posture and in order to do this, you need to know what your posture is currently like. If you have seen me in practice, you would have had posture photos taken. We then put markers on the images showing how you compare to “ideal” or “good” posture.
If you haven’t had postural photos it’s easy to do yourself. Simply get someone to take a photo of you from the front and the side. In order to get more accurate photos I would suggest to stand how you would normally, close your eyes and tilt your head forwards and back a few times and come back to the center, then take a big breathe in and then let it out and relax your body and then take the photo.
There is no point taking photos where you are trying to stand up nice and tall if that is not how you normally are.
Now that you have your photos, let’s see what your posture is like. The images above are paintings I did for my office. I did them mainly for the anatomy, but the posture is represented well.
Traditionally, when looking from the side, good posture is the alignment of several boney landmarks. These are:
- The ankle
- The knee
- The hip
- The shoulder
- The ear
There are a few more things to look for, but for simplicity, just look for these landmarks. When looking from the front we should see:
- Ears that are level
- Shoulders that are level
- Hips that are level
- Feet that are pointing straight ahead
If you draw a line between the ankles, bisect it and then draw a line perpendicular to this, it should go straight up the middle of the body.
If you have taken your posture photos, you will have an idea how good or bad your posture is. So what do you do now?
Presumably you will want to try and improve it. In the upcoming posts during posture month, I will show you some ways of doing this as well as some of the benefits of good posture.
- Book: Overcoming Poor Posture. Steven Low and Jarlo Ilan 2017