Your body is a moving machine, and like a car, is built to go about ”250,000 km”. With the right genetics and care, a few cars can go “300,000 km”. We can think of the spine as the chassis or carriage and the hips and shoulders as the wheels. The spine should remain in a neutral and strong position, and the hips and shoulders should be flexible and strong through its entire range of motion. Finally, like cars, we need repairs, alignment adjustments and maintenance in order to prevent bigger problems.
Unlike cars, we get around in the upright position (unless you are swimming) with our spines designed to best deal with compression loads. When in good posture, we experience mostly compression stress, but when in bad posture, we incur more shearing stress on our spinal joints, tendons and ligaments. This occurs in both static (sitting and standing) and dynamic postures. Essentially, bad posture equates to banging in a bent nail, resulting in pain and recurring injuries, add stress and breakdown occurs even faster.
Other factors which affect alignment include psychological state, energy levels, exercise and daily postures, previous injuries, weight and genetic predisposition and vulnerability.
Your shoulders hips knees and ankle should all be aligned and sit directly on top of each other and all vertical and horizontal planes are straight. If all your joints are aligned, then your head sits properly on top of your shoulders and muscle strength and length will be even from side to side and front to back.
What affects alignment? Unresolved injury, chronic poor posture postural stress causing muscular strength and length imbalance, genetics (ex. short leg) and sitting or standing for long periods of time.
To help fix poor alignment see a good chiropractor, as they are trained to be a ‘human body mechanic’ and learn the two most important posture exercises that can be performed anywhere, the Vacation Pose and the Short Foot. Finally, recognize poor postural habits and replace them with good ones.
Dr. Ron Green, DC provides chiropractic care at Pacific Wellness and is available for appointments four days a week. If you would like to explore how chiropractic could help your pains and aches please call us at 416-929-6958. Chiropractic treatments are covered by most employee benefits.