Poor Posture Explained
Kids today are developing poor posture habits at an early age with an accelerated use of handheld devices, like cell phones and tablets. These postural habits being developed create pathways to the brain and spinal cord and become a “new normal” by the time your child is a teenager, which not only compromises the nervous system and spinal cord, they can develop into chronic pain syndromes and make kids susceptible to injury. Proper alignment of the spine ensures optimal nerve flow to all muscles and internal organs, fueling the body to perform at its highest level.
Doctors of chiropractic (DC) are trained and licensed to treat the entire neuromusculoskeletal system. Not only does that apply to the spine and all of its joints but it also includes knee, shoulder, wrist, hand, and even hip joints.
Children and Text Neck
With today’s increased use and reliance on mobile phones and tablets, kids are especially prone to developing neck, shoulder and upper back problems. The industry term associated with the cause of these new physical challenges is called “Text Neck.” Text Neck is caused by the increased pressure exerted on your child’s neck, shoulders and upper spine from constantly looking down at their electronic device while they interact.
A recent review of research conducted on forward head posture concluded children 8-12 years of age spend over 4 hours on screens and teens spend an average of 7 hours and 22 minutes. A recent study shows that 79% of the population between the ages 18 and 44 have their cell phones with them almost all the time—with only 2 hours of their waking day spent without their cell phone on hand.
It’s not just the time on devices; it’s also how we are using them. The tendency for most people is to hold the device low on their lap; so all that time looking down at the screen is building poor postural habits in the spine.
Text Neck is now considered the new arthritis. Traditionally, arthritis develops in our late 40’s, however, with these improper habits, we will start to see individuals with spinal arthritis in their late 20’s and 30’s.
Children and Sports
In Coquitlam, kids are enrolled in any number of competitive sports, especially contact sports like hockey, soccer, basketball, football, or lacrosse. Sports are a positive outlet for energy and a great way to be social with friends but in sports, injuries are inevitable. As a parent or guardian, you should be aware of the potential for skeletal injury. As one of Coquitlam’s leading chiropractic and physiotherapy centres, Westwood Total Health sees the negative results these sports can have on kids of all ages.
According to the American Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness, “Without proper preparation, playing any sport can turn into a bad experience. There are structural and physical developmental issues that need to be taken into consideration before children undertake certain sports.”
Younger athletes are more susceptible to injuries because they have slower reaction times than adults and are less coordinated because they are still growing and developing. The nervous system and spinal cord are creating new motor pathways and connections to muscles and joints. Chiropractors can make sure there is no interference with that development, ensuring proper alignment of the spine. Many injuries result from overuse, such as repetitive use syndrome, which comes from placing repetitive stress on our muscles, joints, and nerves. Injuries in sports are caused by not using proper techniques or equipment, such as shoes, creating greater demands on the body with less healing time. Injuries in sport are inevitable and Doctors of chiropractic treat a variety of child athletes in sports, including football, soccer, hockey, gymnastics, dance, figure skating, and basketball, just to name a few, and can provide proper stretching exercises to reduce injuries. Treating these injuries at an early stage gets your child athlete returning to sport sooner rather than later. They can also provide advice on proper techniques and equipment, specifically calling to your body’s biomechanics so the body and spine work as efficiently as possible.
Why is good posture important?
The benefits of good posture affect everyone, not just the chiropractic patients of Coquitlam’s Westwood Total Health. Good posture gives you more energy and makes you healthier. It helps you look better and prevents pain. Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. Correct posture:
- Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain
- Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury
- Allows muscles to work more efficiently, causing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue
- Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain
How Chiropractic Treatments Can Help Improve Posture
Injury anywhere can be caused by spinal misalignments and should be treated by a doctor of chiropractic. This includes our arms and legs because every single one of our nerves stems from the spinal cord. Proper alignment of the spine can ensure the proper nerve supply to these specific muscles and get them firing like they’re supposed to.
Children’s chiropractic adjustments are safe, painless and very beneficial for your child. Regular spinal adjustments can reduce the chance of injury to the muscles of the arms, shoulder, hips, legs, and feet in the short and long term. A well-aligned spine and regular checkups for muscle development and joint functioning can ensure your child’s physical development is not adapting or compensating for small injuries or spinal misalignments caused by a child’s typically active lifestyle, such as climbing, running, jumping, rolling, spinning and generally having fun every day. Early detection of spinal misalignments can prevent future chronic pain and ensures the body is functioning and developing optimally.
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Westwood Total Health is a busy, award-winning chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage therapy clinic and has been providing health and wellness care to families in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody since 2006. Through our quality care and patient education, we have become one of the busiest clinics in the province. Since 2013, we have consistently been voted favourite natural health clinic by readers of the Tri-City News.
The goal at Westwood Total Health is to improve spinal and body alignment and function, which promotes overall health. At Westwood Total Health our mission is to make the Tri-Cities the healthiest community in the country. Won’t you join us?