Improve Your Posture with Chiropractic Care: Lower your risk of back pain and neck pain by maintaining good posture. Eleven key exercises for maintaining great posture and a healthy back. -by Dr. Valerie Girard, Chiropractor Santa Barbara
How your posture affects your back pain. Santa Barbara's foremost chiropractor of 30+ years, Dr. Girard, explains the connection between back pain and good posture.
Can a Chiropractor fix Bad Posture, Sway Back?
With over 30 years of chiropractic care for Santa Barbara families and treating sports injuries, etc, Dr. Valerie Girard stresses to her patients that chiropractic adjustments can improve and maintain good posture. We all know that good posture is important to a healthy back. We have to learn to train our bodies to sit, stand and walk a certain way that does not strain supporting muscles and ligaments during weight bearing movement. Overtime, poor posture will affect your back because it can cause negative anatomical changes to your spine and cause issues and pain.
If you are in chronic pain, improving your posture with chiropractic care and very specific exercises can reduce back pain, neck pain, knee, foot pain and more.
The Benefits of Good Posture:
Learning to hold good posture and maintain it will save your back. Great posture has many benefits:
1. saves wear on joints
2. decreases the stress on ligaments
3. prevents tiredness as the muscles and joints are working efficiently
4. prevents strain and overuse problems
5. prevents the spine from being taxed from abnormal alignments caused by slouching, etc.
6. Good posture is attractive.
Combined with regular chiropractic adjustments which can improve your posture, stretching is essential.
Stretches for Maintaining Good Posture:
1. Engage abdominals when standing or sitting.
2. Tilt your pelvis forward and backward, then come to rest in the centered position.
3. Left chest towards the ceiling.
4.Expand shoulder laterally, away from the neck.
5. Arms fall behind the armpits.
6. Hands face somewhat forward as they hang from the wrists.
7.Lift top of head towards the ceiling to create space in the spine.
8. Soften the knees and avoid locking them into an extension position.
9. Notice if your weight is equally distributed on both feet.
10. Breathe evenly to become conscious of the energy flow of your new posture.
A Santa Barbara Chiropractor's 11 Key Exercises for Great Posture
1. Shoulder Opener 101
a.Walk up to a wall and place your hands, fingers pointing up and shoulder height on the wall.
b.Take a full step away from the wall, and plant your feet, hip width apart and toes pointed forward.
c.Bend at the waist so that you are at an 90º angle.
d.Straighten your arms and let your head hang towards the floor.
e.Now lower your chest towards the floor, stretching through your armpits.
f.Take several deep breaths and lower yourself further with each exhalation.
g.When you are done, take a step towards the wall with an inhalation.
2. Shoulder Opener 102
a. Reach behind you and grab both hands in a prayer position.
b. Bend forward at the waist and bring your hands over your head and towards the floor.
c. With each inhalation, lower your arms towards the floor.
3. Shoulder Opener 103
a. Approach a door with arms at 90º upwards angle, with elbows at same level as shoulders.
b. Place forearms and elbows against the doorjam and take one step into the room with your right or left foot. Breath as you lean into the room.
c. Switch feet.
4. Diagonal Neck Stretch
a. Look to diagonal (45ª)
b. Grab your collarbone with the same side hand that you are looking to.
c. Extend your head backwards away from your fingertips.
d. Deepen the stretch by placing your other hand on your head and pulling backwards.
5. Neck Bends
Slowly tilt your head to the right, then neutral, left, then neutral and finally chin to chest.
6. Neck Walk Ups
a. Place two fingers from each hand on the base of the back of your neck.
b. Tilt your head from side to side as you walk your fingers up the back of your neck, digging into the muscles.
c. When you get to the base of your spine, place the two fingers below your skull and tilt your head back while you support your head with your fingers.
d. Push your head into an upright position with your four fingers.
7. Trap Stretches
a. Grab the edge of a table with your right hand and stretch your neck laterally to the left.
b.Repeat on opposite side.
8. Back Strengtheners
a. Lift arms with palms facing down to collar bone level, fingertips touching and elbows same height as your hands.
b. Separate finger tips while you pull your elbows behind you, using the muscles between your shoulder blades. Repeat 20-100 times.
a. Open mouth wide and tilt head back while you yawn and breathe in.
10. Yogi Breathing
With mouth closed, breathe in, bringing the breath through the back of your throat slowly for a count of ten. Exhale for a count of ten or fifteen .
Working on your abdominals will give your great posture. Always remember to engage your core when you perform…you will look much better!
Find your correct posture by tilting your pelvis all the way forward, then all the way back then find your center between the two.