We all do it and it is an epidemic that is growing among the pediatric population. What is it? Poor posture. While we are familiar with what poor posture looks likes and the causes of poor posture, such as heavy backpacks, slouching over an iPad or playing a video game, the long-term effects are devastating. Poor posture that is not corrected and goes untreated can grow into a lifetime of aches and pains.
Three reasons to check your child’s posture early:
- Spinal Development – The curve of the spine is a natural “S” shape that is important for proper function and development. When a child has improper posture that goes unchecked the natural “S” curve of the spine begins to change shape to a “C” curve. This change in posture causes spinal and muscular issues to develop. Blood vessel and nerve restrictions can occur reducing the nutrient and oxygen supply to muscles. Pain eventually develops as the nerves become irritated and movement patterns change. Chiropractors improve joint movement, reduce muscle tension, and provide tips on how to improve posture. After a month of school, it would be a great time to re-check your child’s back pain. Remember the weight of the back pack should not be more than 10% of his/her body weight, fall no further than 4 inches past the waist, and have padded straps.
- Neck & Back Strain – When spinal misalignments occur it puts extra stress and strain on the muscles that support the spine. Muscular strain over time will affect the entire body as the body attempts to compensate. Bad habits are hard to break so establishing good habits from the beginning will create long-term success and improved health.
- Organ Function – Take a moment and slouch if you are not already sitting in poor posture and take a deep breath. Now sit up nice and straight with good posture and take a similar deep breath. How did those positions compare? I guarantee you were able to take a deeper breath and you could feel the positive change throughout the body. Our skeletal system surrounds the organs and when our frame changes due to poor posture it will affect the organs it protects. Our digestive system cannot function and move nutrients as well throughout the gut and our lungs cannot move essential oxygen to all the muscles and organs as efficiently. This physical change of our spine will create damage to our organs. Fix your child’s posture right now and don’t forget to be a good role model for them and correct yours also!
Don’t wait to have your child’s spine examined and start implementing ways to correct improper posture right away. Call us today to schedule a check-up for your child. I cannot wait to work with them!
by Melanie Dockter, DC, CACCP