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Principles of Posture

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Chiropractic Care Helps Create Good Posture

Most of our daily activities work against good posture. We spend large portions of our days sitting in an uncomfortable chair, peering at a computer terminal. Muscles tighten and joints get stiff as we make our way through our daily tasks and responsibilities.

Neck muscles, lower back muscles, thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings), and calf muscles shorten, lose their mobility, and become stiff and sore. Aches and pains add their burdens to chronically poor posture. Over time we become even less of the person we were meant to be.

Chiropractic care helps you reverse these downward spirals. Chiropractic care helps you restore good posture by relieving mechanical stresses and strains and by causing your musculoskeletal system to become more flexible and resilient. The result is improved range of motion, reduced pain, and an enhanced sense of well-being.

Long ago and far away, a fourth-grade teacher told a student to "stand up straight - you look like a pretzel". The unthinking adult only offered criticism. The child was left to try to unkink himself in the ways that probably caused more structural damage.

Most of us think good posture involves thrusting out the chest and pulling back the shoulders. Informing a person that he needs to improve his posture usually results in a sudden, robot-like increase in stature, the person stiffly incorporating most or all of these muscular stresses.

As a direct result of our weak relationship to sound concepts of what good posture actually is, most people have protruding stomachs, slumped shoulders, and necks that protrude far in front of their body's center. Aside from perpetually unattractive aesthetics, such chronically inefficient posture places ongoing strain on back and neck muscles. Poor posture interferes with normal functioning of your heart and lungs. Metabolic processes deteriorate owing to lack of normal oxygen supply. Poor posture not only leads to musculoskeletal problems like chronic back and neck pain, but also is implicated in gastrointestinal and endocrine diseases and many other disorders.

The welcome news is that achieving good posture is not that difficult. Work is required, of course, as well as consistent attention. But the work is not hard - it is merely new and different, for most of us. As we can guess, the key element in good posture is a straight spine. Importantly, straight doesn't mean rigid.

The main consideration here is how to get your spine straight without tightening all your muscles and holding your breath.1 The solution requires a little imagination. Picture in your mind a string dangling from the sky and attaching it to your sternum - your breastbone. You can name this image "hitching your sternum to a star". You dangle from the string like a puppet.

Also, you imagine that the string is supporting all your weight. As a result, your chest lifts up easily and your spine straightens naturally and smoothly.

Another piece to the posture puzzle is to allow your shoulder girdles to rest on your rib cage. You don't have to press your shoulders down to do this - just don't hold them up. Most of us unconsciously tighten our neck and shoulder girdle muscles all day long. By starting to be conscious of what's going on, we can start letting go of tight shoulder girdle muscles. The shoulders will then gently descend and come to rest on top of the rib cage, where they belong.

By paying attention to these basic postural corrections, over time we can develop a posture that is fluid and efficient. We will appear taller, comfortably reaching our full height with grace and ease. Tension and anxiety begin to reduce and we sleep more restfully at night. Good posture is good health.2,3


1Movahed M, et al: Fatigue sensation, electromyographical and hemodynamic changes of low back muscles during repeated static contraction. Eur J Appl Physiol Sep 30, 2010 (Epub ahead of print)
2Edmondston SJ, et al: Postural neck pain: an investigation of habitual sitting posture, perception of 'good' posture and cervicothoracic kinaesthesia. Man Ther 12(4):363-371, 2007
3Prins Y, et al: A systematic review of posture and psychosocial factors as contributors to upper quadrant musculoskeletal pain in children and adolescents. Physiother Theory Pract 24(4):221-242, 2008

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We value our patients' experience at Stamford Sports & Spine. If you are currently a patient, please feel free to complete the following Client Experience Questionnaire. The Questionnaire is in Adobe Acrobat format, and requires the free Acrobat Reader to view.

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Dr. Andrew Zomick & Dr. David Avallon

I have been coming to Stamford Sports and Spine for almost 10 years. I am active and have unfortunately been in a few car accidents. The care and treatment offered at Stamford Sports and Spine is world class and without them I would be living with an inordinate amount of pain and discomfort. Going to Stamford Sports and Spine has made my injuries manageable.

--James


Very good team of therapists. Flexible and available schedule. They helped get my teenage athletes back on the field in half the time.

--Shawn


I was experiencing some pain in my right shoulder and numbness down my arm to my hand. The range of motion in my shoulder was limited and I could not participate in volleyball. Dr. Z came to our office offering a free chair massage and a chance to come in for an evaluation. I did this and we worked out a treatment plan that included therapy and adjustments. I noticed in the first few weeks the pain subsided greatly in my shoulder. The numbness in the arm and hand were present but noticeably better. After three weeks, the range of motion in my shoulder was back to normal and the pain was gone. Now after one month of therapy the numbness in the arm is extremely better and I do not notice the symptoms as often as I used to. Coming into the office has helped tremendously. I can now play volleyball pain-free.

--Mary


After moving from London to the USA, two weeks into living in Stamford and having carried and unpacked a lot of heavy boxes my shoulder froze and I was in a great deal of constant pain. After finding Stamford Sports & Spine on the internet I made an appointment and the corrective programme S.S.S. put together for me meant that I immediately had some pain relief, and over the next few weeks the pain left completely. The programme is also ensuring that I am not only pain free but fully corrected so as this problem should not occur again. Very friendly staff and very detailed assessment programme that has ensured my full recovery.

--Laura


From my first visit to Stamford Sports & Spine I was extremely impressed and pleased with their service. Everyone including staff and doctors were very knowledgeable with their chiropractic services. I learned a great deal about my symptoms and overall care more than I expected. I have visited a few other chiropractors but none were as thorough as Stamford Sports & Spine. I was experiencing severe pain in my shoulder and arm and after a few visits my pain decreased substantially. I really appreciate all the services from the adjustments, rollers and even exercise room. I would highly recommend this facility to everyone. The entire staff are friendly, professional and just simply great!

--Sherri


Everyone was incredibly professional and helpful.  The staff is friendly and goes beyond what was expected to meet my needs and education me about my condition.

--Jon


Came in with severe and constant numbness and tingling in my legs and feet. The treatment worked quickly and resolved all of my symptoms. Thanks!

--Erik


My arms were falling asleep every night and had numbness and tingling during the day. I no longer have any of those symptoms during the day and have very rare episodes of pain at night due to my treatment here at Stamford Sports & Spine

--Eric


I came in for hip pain and stiff neck that also affected my right arm and hand. Using the relaxing rolling / traction bed and electrical muscle stimulation along with stretching and the adjustments my hip pain is gone. I can walk without sharp pains running up and down my legs. My neck range of motion has improved and my muscles are more flexible and less spastic.

--Karen


I had severe neck pain which was aggravated by a recent move. I have been coming to be adjusted for a few weeks now and not only has it helped with the neck pain I had been experiencing, but it has also made me feel better overall. I feel like I am able to sit up straighter, and my muscles are looser and less tense. I no longer have the intense pain I had once been experiencing

--Kim


When I came in my pain was a 10 out of 10. After just one week of care my pain went down to a 4 and has been improving ever since. The staff are very friendly and great educators. I learned a lot about my body and how to take better care of myself.

--Heidi


After a car accident,  I had to seek help for my upper back and neck pain. Slowly but surely I started to feel better, not immediately, but by keeping up with my visits with Dr. Q & Dr. Z. Now I can tell you that I feel leaps and bounds better, and am now looking forward to a pain-free summer.

--Rudy


I have been with Stamford Sports & Spine for more than a year now. I still remember how much pain I was in during my first session. I can now walk in and out without any aches or pains.

--Rick


When I first started going to Stamford Sports & Spine, my back had been seizing up with alarming regularity. After just a few months of working with Dr. Z and Dr. Q, I feel much more confident in my daily activities and have even been able to return to the gym.

--Dan


Thank you to Dr. Z, Dr. Q and the whole Stamford Sports & Spine team! For many years, I have been suffering from severe back pain that would sometimes keep me from going to work. The recurring pain would come and go and I couldn't figure out what I was doing to cause it. When I came to the office, Dr. Z took x-rays, did a complete examination and educated me as to what was happening and why. I began treatment and was given exercises to prevent these injuries from happening in the future. Since starting the treatment, I have seen a great improvement in my back. The pain is gone and I have an increased range of motion. Thanks again to the entire staff who are very friendly and always willing to accommodate my hectic schedule when I make appointments.

--Ron


The strabismus in my eyes caused a vertical deviation in my eye placement.  This resulted in my head naturally tilting to the right and throwing my muscular structure in my neck and shoulders off.  I had accepted the tilt and tightness as a way of life and a natural dis-figuration of my spine.  I almost didn't sign on for initial treatment.  After 3 visits I have already noticed a difference in the position of my head, my posture and regular comfort levels.  There is still a ways to go to rid that area of  a lifetime of dysfunction, but what a relief to know it's treatable and already improving.

-Jenn


I found Dr. Z and Dr. Q earlier in the week after experiencing some back pain and sciatica. After the consultation and x-rays I began therapy. After just 2 treatments I felt much better and had a significant reduction in discomfort in the area of concern. I am looking forward to continuing my treatment in an effort for long term recovery and a return to my heavy exercise routine.

--Tom


FANTASTIC. When I leave I feel like a whole new woman. I have been going there for my neck pain and headaches for about 1 year now; off and on and ever since I started treatment there my headaches have been reduced to one every few months instead of a few every month. The intensity of of my pain has also been reduced to almost nothing. The doctors seem to have a very friendly relationship with all of the patients and I feel very welcomed by the staff as well. Not to mention I love how they incorporate therapeutic massages into my treatment. I have since sent over many of my colleagues and family, who also share the same feelings. Thank you.

--Bri


I had a great experience. My low back pain is completely gone. I found the staff extremely knowledgeable, accommodating and friendly. I would highly recommend them.

--Jay F.

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