Parents are always telling their children to sit up straight, and not to slouch. Good posture evokes a sense of confidence, youth, and beauty. But did you know that studies show poor posture to be related to an increased incidence of disease and death? It’s true!
Dr. Henry Winsor was the first to publish this kind of study. He autopsied 50 cadavers and found 139 diseased organs. Each of these organs was traced back via its nerve supply to a spinal curve distortion, most of these being minor spinal misalignments (also known as subluxations).
More recently, Dr. Kado published a study in the Journal of Geriatrics that correlated accentuated mid-back curves with an increased death rate and increased incidence of heart disease.
Posture is now the number one predictor of early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. 90% of the information to the brain every day comes from our posture. In other words, the sense of where our body is in space called proprioception. If this information is poor, caused by bad posture, our brain cells start dying at a rate of two square centimeters per year.
These studies support long-standing chiropractic principles. Our health is directly related to proper alignment and motion of the spine. There are three parts of our spine, the neck (cervical), mid-back (thoracic), and low back (lumbar). The neck and low back have a reverse c-shape called a lordosis, while the mid-back has a c-shaped curve called a kyphosis. These normal spinal curves must be maintained within normal ranges. Poor posture is one of the things that alter the proper shape of our spine, leading to more strain and pressure on our spinal joints. The result is irritation and pressure on spinal nerves as they exit the vertebral column, which creates a reduction in nerve flow and blood supply to the various organs where that nerve goes. This leads to eventual dysfunction and disease. Not only at the spinal level in the form of spinal decay leading to arthritis, but also at the vital organ level. Any diseases may be linked to spinal subluxations. For example, the most common postural faults occur at the upper back and base of the neck. These areas connect neurologically with the heart and lungs. Subluxations in these areas can lead to premature cardiopulmonary disease and death.
Poor posture has become an epidemic. We are constantly sitting in front of our laptops and computers. Sitting is thought to be the new “smoking”. And “text neck”, caused by constantly looking down at our cell phones is leading to degenerative changes in our neck in young teens and adults today.
Chiropractors are specially trained to correct postural distortions and remove nervous system interference before it leads to disease. They perform computerized and other posture analysis along with x-rays and a thorough spinal examination to evaluate one’s posture. They then perform specialized treatment, known as spinal adjustments, along with recommending exercises and orthopedic devices that begin to restore one’s natural posture. As this happens, the amount of stress hormone in the body decreases, muscle tone improves and neurological improvements are noted. As this happens, our overall health and vitality improve.
Preventative medicine is the best medicine. Everyone should visit a chiropractor regularly for spinal “tune-ups”. Maintenance prolongs life. We do it for a car so why not for ourselves? And remember, sit up straight, it could save your life!
Dr. Vikas Puri
B.Sc., D.C, Toronto, Canada
President and Co-Founder of Intelligent Health Group.