Improve Your Posture
The internet and all the mod cons have really changed the way we go about our daily lives. Everything can be done at the touch of a button. From shopping to changing channels on your wide screen TV, we can do almost everything without even leaving the couch. Unfortunately there is a downside to this convenience. By decreasing the amount we move each day, we have increased the severity of poor posture and in turn, its negative effects on our health and wellbeing. The daily activities that we now consider normal, like sitting at a desk, driving instead of walking, and even playing video games, have an accumulative effect and lead to poor posture over time.
What is poor posture?
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting or lying down. When you have poor posture it can increase pressure on your spine and contribute to tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue.
Australian adults, on average, spend an estimated five hours per day sitting, with a quarter of the population sitting for more than eight hours per day, including the 67% that play video games recreationally. Also, the time we spend sitting and hunching over a desk or on the couch can add pressure to the spine.
Get a Ready for Life Posture
A healthy posture is all about healthy movement, by both your spine and your body. It does take discipline to correct poor posture, but there’s no doubt the benefits are well worth the effort. Chiropractic care is well known to help improve posture, and our chiropractors can show you specific exercises that will help to improve your posture and maintain a healthy spine.
At Coolum Family Chiropractic, we also recommend the Straighten Up app, developed by the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA). It is designed to help everyday Australians maintain and improve their spinal health. You can use the app to set reminders and receive notifications about sitting right, stretching, improving posture and even staying hydrated.
Download the FREE app and get your posture Ready for Life today!
Your Posture Affects Your
Memory Recall and Mood
Even old Charlie Brown understood how spinal posture can affect your wellbeing!
The link between posture and mood is embedded in idiomatic phrases such as walking tall, standing proud, and an upstanding citizen, versus collapsed, defeated, or in a slump.
Language suggests that posture and mood/emotions are connected. Slumped posture is commonly observed in depression (Canales et al., 2010; Michalak et al., 2009) and adapting an upright posture increases positive affect, reduces fatigue, and increases energy in people with mild to moderate depression (Wilkes et al., 2017; Peper & Lin, 2012).
The below article describes in detail a research study that demonstrated how posture affects memory recall (Peper et al, 2017). The findings may explain why depression is increasing the more people use cell phones. More importantly, learning posture awareness and sitting more upright at home and in the office may be an effective somatic self-healing strategy to increase positive affect and decrease depression.
Chiropractors have long understood the connection between spinal health and your overall health and wellbeing. We are also the only health professionals who encourage the maintenance of spinal health as a means of living a more enjoyable life (not just as a means of relieving painful conditions!).
Remember to look after your spine, it affects everything you do!
Are You Ready For Life!
Life is full of unknowns, but you can take simple and practical steps now to be ready for life at any age. What actions are you taking right now to ensure you are able to live the life you want as you age?
Currently 15% of the Australian population are aged 65 and over, and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare estimates that this will increase to 22% by 2056. This increase in the age of the population puts additional strain on the government to provide affordable and effective health care for older Australians.
Luckily, chiropractic care is ideal to assist in the healthcare of Australians as they age, and potentially help improve their quality of life!
According to the World Health Organization, musculoskeletal conditions that reduce mobility, dexterity and functional ability, are the second largest cause of disability worldwide. Musculoskeletal conditions can have a damaging effect on your quality of life by affecting your ability to participate in work, social activities and sports. In Australia, 3.7 million people reported back problems in 2015 alone.
With statistics like these, and the burden of low back pain ranking first in Australia, it is likely that you or someone you know could suffer from back pain. Improving posture, maintaining an active lifestyle and keeping your spinal health in check can help you continue to do the things you love and always be Ready for Life!
Chiro Can Help You Maintain The Life You Want!
One way to help you be Ready for Life and improve your spinal health is to get regular chiropractic adjustments. Chiropractors can also be seen as a preventative healthcare option by offering advice and assistance in making appropriate lifestyle choices and therefore reducing the risk of spinal health issues arising in the first place. Remember that good health happens by choice (and the choices you make!), not by chance.
1. Older Australia at a glance,2017, AIHW (online). Available at www.aihw.gov.au/reports/older-people/older-australia-at-aglance/contents/demographicsof-older-australians/australia-schanging-age-and-gender-profile
2. Caring for older Australians, 2010, Productivity Commission. Available at www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/BriefingBook43p/ageingpopulation
3. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2016, Effectiveness of Chiropractic Care to Improve Sensorimotor Function Associated With Falls Risk in Older People: A Randomized Controlled Trial,May; 39(4):267-78
4. The Burden of musculoskeletal conditions in Australia (2017), Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, www.aihw.gov.au
5. Vos.T., Flaxman, A. and Naghavi, M., Years lived with disability study for 1160 sequelae of 289 diseases and injuries 1990-2010: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Diseases Study 2010. Lancet, 2012, 380: p2163-2196
Give Your Child’s Back a Good Pack.
As children return to school this January, it is important that parents of school aged children look at the quality and fit of their child’s backpack, as heavy, incorrectly fitted and badly packed school backpacks can lead to spinal health problems as your child grows.
Spinal health is crucial at any age and items like heavy backpacks may cause strain and discomfort to the spine. We believe spinal pain can be attributed to a number of factors, and heavy and incorrectly worn bags may also lead to poor posture, slouching and uneven hips.
The relationship between spinal health and carrying a heavy backpack may also depend on additional aspects such as your child’s age and weight.
If you’re worried about your child’s backpack weight, here are a few lifestyle and backpack modification tips:
What to look for in a backpack:
1. Make sure the backpack is the right size for your child, no wider than their chest and below the hollow of their back
2. A moulded frame on the back, that when adjusted fits their spine.
3. A bag made from a light weight material like canvas, with two padded straps
4. Adjustable waist and sternum straps
5. Separate compartments that allow for easy packing and weight distribution
How to carry the backpack in a spine safe way:
1. Ensure that the weight of the backpack is no more than 10% of your child’s weight when packed. Only pack essentials to lessen the load, perhaps use school lockers if available.
2. Pack the heaviest items closest to the spine and make sure all zippers are done up all the way.
3. Secure the sternum and waist straps (they’re there for a reason)
4. Always wear both straps. Tell the kids it’s not cool to ‘one-strap it’ anymore.
5. Reduce the time spent wearing the backpack to no more than 30 minutes at any one time.
Another tip is to ensure your child is undertaking 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, as a part of correct spinal care.
If you’re looking for a backpack that ticks all the boxes above, the Australian Chiropractors Association together with Spartan School Supplies developed the ‘Chiropak’. This durable, functional and comfortable backpack is designed to reduce the incidence and severity of neck and back pain associated with carrying heavy loads.
Find out more about the Spartan ‘Chiropak’ by visiting https://www.spartanss.com.au/collections/bags
We welcome you to make an appointment before school resumes for more advice and assistance on selecting the right backpack, making sure it is fitted correctly to suit your child’s current level of development.
Spinal Problems And Organ Function.
Did you know that spinal subluxations (misalignments) can affect the function of your internal organs?
Because your spine surrounds and protects your spinal cord and it’s delicate nerves, problems with your spine can interfere with the signals that travel along these nerves. That means that wherever those nerve signals are going will not receive the correct messages, resulting in possible dysfunction. This could be your back, neck, arm, leg or even your stomach.
Your whole body functions, and depends on nerve signals. Chiropractic care corrects spinal problems, reducing nerve interference and allowing the signals to get through. This helps you to function at your best and stay healthy.
This is why it is so important to have your spine checked and adjusted regularly to maintain optimal spinal alignment. Your health depends on it!
Chiropractic & Posture
Chiropractic is the science of locating problems in the spine, the art of reducing their impact to the nervous system, and a philosophy of natural health care based on your inborn potential to be healthy.
Chiropractors are experts at analyzing posture and spinal problems. Chiropractor searches for the problems that are at the root of poor posture, analysing spinal curvatures, movement and alignment.
Some of the postural analyses a Chiropractor undertakes includes assessing a patient for:
• changes in the stance (eg. the outward turning of one or both feet)
• alignment of the knees
• levelling of the hips or pelvis
• height differences across the shoulders
• tilting of the head and neck
• forward tilting of the pelvis
• forward head translation
• increase in the spinal curvatures
• changes to gait (walking)
The Spine and the Nervous System
Common interferences to the nervous system occur between some of the 24 moving bones of the spinal column. A loss of normal motion or position of these bones can irritate or impair the function of the nervous system.
This can disrupt the transmission of controlling nerve impulses. With improved spinal function people often report improved organ and system function. Your Chiropractor can help remove any interference that may be impairing normal health.
When under proper control of your nervous system, all the cells, tissue, and organs of your body are designed to resist disease and ill health. The Chiropractic approach to better health is to locate and help reduce interferences to your natural state of being healthy.
An Inspirational Video On The Power Of Chiropractic.
Some of you may have seen a video on a very special chiropractic case that has been doing the social media rounds recently. If you haven’t seen the video yet, it is well worth checking out. A very inspirational and emotional story on the power of chiropractic when all else has failed.
Big Wave Surfer Shanan Worrall Drops In.
We had the pleasure of helping out Western Australian big wave surfer Shanan Worrall when he was holidaying in Coolum recently. Shanan won the WSL Big Wave Award for Tube Of the Year for this ride at The Right in W.A. earlier this year.
Needless to say, Shanan has had his share of injuries, and I was able to help him with some neck and back issues he was having whilst here on holidays. For a guy that takes on monster swells, he is a very gracious and humble bloke and it was a pleasure to have him in the office.
Shanan is a commercial abalone and shell diver, and is also the founder of Shark Eyes, a visual shark deterrent that minimises the risk of shark attack. He’s a true waterman.
Your Body Is Quite Amazing!
Did you know that, on average, you and everyone you know will:
- on average drink 70,000 cups of coffee
- spend 29.75% of our lives sitting down
- spend 41% of our lives staring at a screen (eg phone, tv, tablet, etc)
- laugh 481,760 times
- spend 1,765 days socialising with family and friends
- spend 3 months of our entire life on the toilet
- walk around 120,000km (that is over 3 times around the entire world)
- yawn about 250,000 times
Did you also know that your body does all these amazing things:
- your heart will beat 3,363,840,000 times over the average life span
- your nose can remember 50,000 different scents
- your ears and nose never stop growing!
- an adult is made up of 7,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 individual atoms…there’s ‘only’ 300,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy
- a full head of human hair is strong enough to support 12 tonnes
- the atoms that make up the human body today are the same atoms that formed during the big bang
- the human brain could perform 38 thousand-trillion operations per second. The world’s most powerful super computer can only manage 0.002%
- your body produces 25 million new cells every second
- we are made up of 90% fungi and bacteria
This list of all the cool stuff that our body is does could go on, and on, and on.
Sometimes it’s hard to believe our bodies are, actually amazing. We just tend to take it for granted that it does what it does and never really give a thought to the countless individual processes that are happening CONSTANTLY to keep us alive and healthy! But, its a simple fact that we can easily forget.
We are constantly bombarded with all types of media that inform us that our bodies aren’t perfect unless we add something to them… or buy the product they are trying to sell us. Once we buy that product our lives and our bodies will be complete is the sales pitch. When the simple fact of the matter is that our body is amazing and complete just the way it is! And if you don’t believe this, pay attention to the ads on TV next time, or check out the latest glossy magazine!
And, don’t worry about the media, we are doing enough of a number on ourselves every day. We constantly bombard our bodies with stress – physical, mental and chemical – every single day! And still our bodies turn up to ‘work’ every single day!
This stress that we are exposed to everyday results in interference to the optimal state of your body. As Chiropractor’s we check and adjust, if needed, to align the body with its optimal function, its inner ability to be amazing. Every single one of us!
Free Postural Analysis Reports.
We always offer free postural analysis to anyone as a community service.