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Postural Awareness and Correction

Poor Posture Can Lead To...

What is posture correction?

Posture correction at Integrated Chiropractic uses various methods to improve posture and strengthen the spine and surrounding tissues. I offer techniques that realign your spine, making good posture easy and offering a variety of health and wellness benefits.

What are the benefits of posture correction?

Some of the advantages linked with posture correction at Integrated Chiropractic include:

Having good posture can reduce tension, muscle tightness, headache pain, neck discomfort, back pain, and much more.

What are the risk factors for poor posture?

Poor posture is common and can happen to anyone, but some things could increase your risk of standing or sitting in a stooped or asymmetrical position. Examples include lack of strength and flexibility, scoliosis or other spine problems, being sedentary, injuries, poor sitting/sleeping/standing positions, and obesity. 

Is posture correction right for me?

To determine if posture correction is right for you, I discuss your symptoms and medical history. I will perform a complete physical examination to assess posture and your overall musculoskeletal functioning. I then personalize a posture correction treatment that’s best for you.

What happens during my appointment? 

During posture correction appointments at Integrated Chiropractic, I offer the following services:

Posture education

I will teach you ways to improve posture while sitting, standing, and sleeping to enhance spinal alignment and reduce ongoing discomfort.

Corrective exercises

Integrated Chiropractic offers a variety of corrective exercises to strengthen musculoskeletal tissues, improve flexibility, and make it easier for you to consciously and subconsciously maintain exceptional posture.

Myofascial release

I offer myofascial release using manual pressure or a specialized vibrating device called Rapid Release®  to reduce tension and pain and improve posture. 

Chiropractic adjustments

I use a series of procedures to realign your spine, reduce inflammation and pain, and improve postural alignment.

Massage therapy

Licensed massage therapists at Integrated Chiropractic use manual pressure to reduce tension and make good posture easier. 

What is Upper Cross and/or Lower Cross Syndrome?

This isn’t a common term used in the Chiropractic profession unless you are a clinician who practices functional rehab or exercises with patients. I have been fortunate to be in an office for my first 8 years of practice that was very diverse and multidisciplinary. In this office, I was the senior clinic director for the Physical Medicine department which included: Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and personal training. It was a great environment to not only practice but to learn SOO much. I was also very fortunate to have some of my university instructors on staff and working beside them treating patients.

I have been describing to patients for years that we have been created with extensor and flexor muscles. Examples of extensors are your tricep and quadricep, where the bicep and hamstring are flexors. A picture I describe also to patients or when doing public talks is that of a fetus or baby compared to our geriatric or senior population. Can you visualize that? That example demonstrates how are flexor muscles are stronger than our extensor muscles. As a rule, especially with someone needing postural re-education, we need to be intentional about strengthening our extensors because the imbalance of too much flexor strength over extensor strength is what creates a lot of problems in the functional rehabilitation world.

This is how upper and lower cross syndrome is created. It is the imbalance of those opposing postural muscles that get tight on one side and stretched on the other. Another functional rehab term for tightness is hypertonic and for loose or stretched is hypotonic or inhibited. Upper cross syndrome is the tightness, strong or hypertonicity of the pectoralis group or chest muscle and its opposing functional muscle, the upper trapezius and levator scapula or upper back and neck muscle. Then there is the stretched, weak or hypotonicity of the muscle of the deep neck flexor muscle in the front of the neck and its opposing functional muscle, the weak lower trapezius and serratus muscle on the mid back side. Can you picture that? If you need a visual, google image upper cross syndrome.

Lower cross syndrome is very similar in theory to upper cross but involves the lower trunk anatomy. Lower cross syndrome is the tightness, strong or hypertonicity of the erector spinae or the lower back muscle and its opposing functional muscle, the iliopsoas and hip flexor muscle or muscle in front of the hip. Then there is the stretched, weak or hypotonicity of the muscle of the abdominals or pelvic floor muscle in the front of the spine and its opposing functional muscle, the weak lower trapezius and serratus muscle on the mid back side. Can you picture that? If you need another visual, google image lower cross syndrome.

All my patients receive a home exercise plan when they are ready for them, whether they want them or not. If they decide to make paper airplanes out of them, I tell them they will only be able to get so much stability therefore needing more frequent Chiropractic adjusting. For those patients who need the frequent adjusting and still have functional issues due to not doing the home exercises or making the correct habitual postural changes when sitting, sleeping and standing, are then referred to one of a number of physical therapists I trust and use when needed. However, with patients who do the work and utilize the home exercises and make the necessary postural changes, can go much further between Chiropractic adjustments. I prefer to get patients to a monthly frequency if possible. Research says that if nothing is done to continue to work on these weaknesses or functional issues, muscle memory from traumatized issue, scar tissue or habits will have symptoms and dysfunction return, it’s just when.

Everyone is different in how they present and therefore treatments are individualized to some degree in order to achieve the short term and long-term goals I set for patients. Patients have all experienced different injuries, trauma and have different combinations of postural dysfunction. Therefore, I find it is important to treat them individually as they may need a combination of things to correct their upper and lower cross issues, such as an individualized plan of Chiropractic adjusting, a combination of stretching and strengthening home exercises (I prefer them to have 75% strengthening and 25% stretching). This way I can feel better about doing as much as I can for each patient. Then, I can continue to support them any way I can Chiropractically and they can do the rest on their own, hopefully.

To learn more about posture correction at Integrated Chiropractic and find out if it’s right for you, call the office or send us a message from the contact us page today.

I hope you learned something today.  Thanks for reading – and stay well.

Author
Dr. Sean Joseph Sean Joseph, DC, CKTP A chiropractic physician and Certified Kinesio Taping® Practitioner. He leads the team at Integrated Chiropractic in Silverdale, Washington, and strives to offer individualized care with some of the best technology available in integrative medicine. Dr. Joseph holds degrees in biological sciences, human biology, and chiropractic care. He attended the National University of Health Sciences in Lombard, Illinois. Dr. Joseph has held numerous positions throughout his career and has worked with Olympians, professional athletes, Fortune 500 executives, and celebrities. He has also won multiple awards for his excellence in practice, including the 2015 Opencare Patients Choice Award and the Kitsap Peninsula Business Journal’s 40 Under Forty Class of 2011. Dr. Joseph is the founder of Integrated Chiropractic and enjoys his time there to this day. He helps patients reach their goals for better mobility and musculoskeletal pain reduction.

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