Good posture is more than just a visual analysis of the way one stands, walks and sits. It involves a scientific analysis of a spinal x-ray to calculate the spinal curves. Engineers determined that the spine is more than 16 times stronger with the curves than if the curves are lost in life.
The cervical curve is the arc in the neck made up by the vertebrae. We have a cervical curve at 8 weeks in the womb. As an adult your cervical curve should be approximately 45 degrees for optimum mechanical and neurological function. When we lose the curve our spinal cord and it’s surrounding blood vessels are stretched. This interrupts vital signal transmission to and from the brain. Spinal curves are important!
Research shows that a loss of the cervical curve can lead to the following:
- Low back pain
- Degeneration of the spine
- Poor injury recovery
- Arm pain
- TMJ disorders
- A change in mental health status
- Acute and chronic neck pain
- Poor respiratory function/apnea
- Spinal cord atrophy
- Airway obstruction
- Increased vulnerability to injury
The thoracic curve (or the curve in the mid back) should not be flat or hunched. When the thoracic curve is greater or less than normal it may be implicated in the following:
- An increase in falls
- An increased likelihood of suffering whiplash injury
- Sagging breasts
- Lowered lung capacity
The lumbar curve, the curve of the lower back, is essential for spinal strength and a loss of the curve is implicated in the following:
Degeneration of the lumbar discs
- Nerve compression leading to lower body pain, bowel/organ dysfunction
- Increased likelihood of disc herniation
From the front the spine should have no curves. If there is a curve, depending on the size, this indicates scoliosis or a scoliotic curve. There are health implications that will last a lifetime if untreated.
Are you not as “curvy” as you should be? Are you experiencing back and/or neck pain? Call our office at (304) 263-4927 today to schedule a chiropractic appointment. Dr Terry Chambers is a Board certified chiropractor and acupuncturist licensed in WV.