As we age, our bodies go through many changes. We lose bone density and muscle tissue. Our joints become inflexible and stiff. Over time, the weight of our bodies shifts forward, leading to an irregular gait and slouched sitting. Poor posture also contributes to improper alignment of the spine, which strains the back muscles and compresses the spinal discs, resulting in lower back pain. When this occurs, the body is forced to overextend itself, making postural correction difficult.
For the elderly, in particular, poor posture increases the chance of dangerous falls. Studies have shown that weak muscles and improper upright positioning of the spine impair reaction time, preventing older people from correcting their steps after bending down, tripping, or reaching for something on a shelf. Sometimes the fear of falling is so great, that many elderly people avoid certain tasks and they lose confidence in their ability to lead a normal life. Poor posture can also weaken a person’s ability to breathe. As the spine and shoulders curve downward, the chest cavity is squashed and lung capacity is greatly diminished.
Fortunately, poor posture does not have to be permanent. There are many ways to slow and even reverse the postural deterioration caused by aging. Physical activity is very important, especially exercises that focus on the abdominals and back. By strengthening these muscles through resistance and weight training, the spine is better supported. However, if these activities are too strenuous, yoga is a great alternative. In addition to stretching the spine and promoting better breathing techniques, yoga postures encourage awareness, helping to develop a constant mindfulness about the body.
Making sure to lower the risk of severe bone loss and stiff joints is dependent not only on exercise, but a healthy diet. Receiving all the necessary vitamins and minerals to keep the body functioning properly is critical to maintaining a fit body that can support itself. Eating a balanced diet, full of calcium and vitamin D, is vital to better posture and overall health.
Many people don’t realise that the chiropractors at Crow’s Nest, North Sydney and Gladesville Spine and Health are trained in posture correction. It’s their job to correct people’s postures whatever their age.
All Spine and Health Chiropractors, are trained in a Postural technique from America that aims to reverse poor posture!
Come in to see one of our chiropractors, or phone to have a chat and see if Chiropractic Postural therapy works for you!