One of the most important parts of a Chiropractor’s job is getting communities to understand the true benefits of how regular adjustments for the spine and nervous system affect every organ and system in the body. Having a Chiropractor on your healthcare team to achieve optimal health and function is no longer just a theory, it is a proven necessity. One of the most effective ways to understand this perspective begins with looking at the devastating effects a bad spine has on human health. Everyone can relate to bad posture. The problem is that the majority will relate bad posture to a cosmetic issue, not one that destroys organ function.
Everyone hears clichés about eliminating bad posture, but few truly know how dangerous poor posture is to overall health. Memories of being told to sit up straight come to mind as much as any other important tip for improving health. A ground-breaking study published in 2004 proved a significant relationship between bad posture and early death from atherosclerosis and pulmonary disease. That statement bears repeating; poor posture directly related to heart and lung related deaths. The actual study determined a 44% higher risk of death in those with the poorest posture.
The study pointed out that the posture with the most dangerous influence on heart and lung health was the sitting posture. Sitting posture presents with hunched shoulders, the head forward, a rounded mid-back, and a forward-tilting pelvis. 60% of the entire work force spends nearly eight hours a day in this position at computers and desks.
Poor posture directly relates to the pandemic of ever increasing cases of heart and lung diseases in America. Medical solutions to this problem begin with drugs and surgery. Drugs and surgery not only cover up the symptoms, they have dangerous side effects that reduce quality of life. The true cause of many of these unwanted symptoms and diseases are being overlooked by almost every other healthcare provider except corrective care Chiropractors. Anyone standing in a Chiropractic office stands in a place of corrective health. Every chiropractic adjustment improves health and quality of life. That statement is not theory, but proven fact. Adults and children alike deserve a better defense against health threatening posture problems. Everyone needs to be checked and adjusted on a regular schedule. Research shows that your heart and lungs are counting on it.
Another study, "Hyperkyphotic Posture Predicts Mortality in Older Community-Dwelling Men and Women" looked at the most dangerous, and common, posture known to man: Hyper-kyphosis. Think about what this does to the spine. It decreases the lumbar curve while adding significant stress to the lumbar facets and discs. It rounds out the thoracic curve and significantly reduces the cervical curve. This forces the head forward and usually creates an extension in occiput to keep the eyes looking level. All of this is common with over 60% of the work force because they are sitting at desks staring at computer screens for a large portion of the day. This posture then extends into kids and adults playing video games, using cell phones, and spending time on other smart devices outside of work and school. This trend produces a bottom line that bad posture is clearly becoming the norm and therefore, not many people are immune to the negative influence it has on their physiology.
There were 1,353 participants in this study who had measurements of a kyphotic posture. They were followed for an average of 4.2 years, with mortality and cause of death confirmed using death certificates. Hyper-kyphotic posture was more common in men than women. In age and sex-adjusted analyses, those with hyper-kyphotic posture had a 1.44 greater rate of mortality (44%). In multiple adjusted models, the increased rate of death was significant. In the cause-specific mortality analyses, hyper-kyphotic posture was specifically associated with an increased rate of death due to atherosclerosis. This was a big finding! Bad posture was related specifically to increased death rates due to atherosclerosis. For deaths due to atherosclerosis, participants with hyper-kyphotic posture had a significant 2.4 times greater rate of death. And here’s probably one of the most important findings; even at a mild degree of hyper-kyphotic posture, there was a definite rate of greater mortality! This means that everyone in a community is at risk no matter how small their posture deviation may be.
Studies like this shine light on the fact that bad posture literally contributes to disease processes and early death over a period of time. Communities must know that Chiropractic seeks to change structure as it relates to function and this study helps to confirm the need for that mission. Every Chiropractic technique will help improve posture by correcting vertebral subluxation. Chiropractors do not have to sell the fact that they are trying to correct or cure posture problems, but when detecting and correcting subluxations, Doctors are having a direct influence on the nervous system that is always attempting to balance posture.
In my opinion, based on this study, Chiropractic care clearly adds years to life and life to years by improving posture through the detection and correction of subluxation. This allows the entire profession to take the focus off pain and move the patient’s focus onto the significant benefits of an improved quality of life. Whole body healthy stems from lifetime Chiropractic care for the correction and preservation of posture.
For an evaluation of your posture contact The Art of Chiropractic and experience the overall health benefits of standing up tall…
Yours in Health,
Dr. Doug Davies has been practicing the art of chiropractic for over 10 years and brings his skills to the downtown Gresham, OR area focusing on achieving and maintaining the innate lifestyle...