It might be difficult to believe that bad posture is considered to be a health epidemic. In fact this problem is more serious than most people might assume. The spine is the vital structure on which the entire body depends, and has a relationship with virtually every other bodily function. The brain, the spinal cord and every other vital organ depends on the spine, and posture is intimately connected with the spine – it is in fact the window into the spine.
It therefore stands to reason that poor posture affects spinal health, as well as the health of brain and all other vital organ function.
Dr. Roger Sperry is a Nobel Prize recipient; he has said that the spine is the engine which powers the brain. According to his research – the movement of the spine stimulates 90% of the nutrition which goes to the brain. Only 10% of the energy of the brain is used for immunity, healing, metabolism, and yes…thought. 90% of brain energy is used to maintain the relationship the body has with gravity.
The curve in the neck is what neurosurgeons and Chiropractors refer to as ‘the arc of life’. Ideally the arc of life should contain a 40 – 45 degree curve. This curve is designed to protect the spinal canal, cord and nerve pathways to the entire body, as well as the brain stem. Loss of this natural curve of the spine is responsible for an entire host of associated health problems.
When the spine is misaligned it causes compressions and blocks neural pathways. This irritation of the nervous system affects every other organ and body function. The scientific term used for this misalignment is ‘subluxation’. Subluxation can manifest in pain, but this is not necessarily the case, as only a very small proportion of the spinal nerves actually transmit the sensation of pain, so, the condition can be deceiving. If the individual does not notice any pain with poor posture, this does not necessarily mean that no problem exists. The most dangerous forms of subluxation patterns are scoliosis, loss of the arc of life in the neck, and forward head posture.
Poor posture and/or trauma are the most common causes of loss of neck curve and forward head posture. Trauma may be caused as far back as the birth process or from sporting injury, falls and car accidents, amongst others. Typically many individuals today also spend at least three to four hours daily if not more, slumped in front of a TV, computer, or cell phone while sending texts. All of these activities are responsible for an enduring posture pattern referred to as “forward head posture”.
Forward head posture can result in as much as 30% of lung capacity loss, may add as much as 30lbs of leverage which pulls the spine entirely out of alignment, and has been known to lead to asthmatic conditions, heart disease, blood vessel and even digestive disorders. Oxygen deficit can affect the gastrointestinal system and decrease endorphin production. This problem is so prevalent that some chiropractic practitioners specialize in corrective care only for forward head posture. The aim of this rehabilitative treatment is to address postural abnormalities, and restore the natural curves of the spine for lasting change.
Research has shown that chiropractic care can effectively reduce forward head posture and restore or enhance the arc of life. This dramatically improves lung function, which in turn enhances blood flow, improves respiration so more oxygen is delivered to the entire body. Essentially all health concerns improve from addressing postural problems.