girl sat at the computer

You can improve your posture

We hear so many people complaining of their children’s bad posture. “Sit up straight” they tell them. But very often the child, and also the adult, feels more pain when they try to straighten up. This is obviously not a normal situation. This is why it is very important to have a postural check for yourself and your family.

Everyone needs to be reminded about their posture. Not only your children, but you too might have bad habits. Working hunched over at your computer all day, looking at your phone with your head flexed forward, cradling the phone between your ear and your shoulder or slouching on the couch may cause you to suffer needlessly.

Healthy habits and proper posture start early in life. Unfortunately, we see a growing number of children and teenagers with bad posture because of today’s lifestyle.

They watch a lot of television, play video games or sit in a terrible posture playing on their cell phones or doing their homework lying in bed. Another factor that contributes to their bad posture is that they often carry backpacks that are too heavy for them. Roughly 40% of children report back pain and many of them attribute this pain to backpack use.

Make sure your child’s backpack does not exceed 15% of his or her body weight. We also recommend that they use both shoulder straps of their backpack so that the weight is evenly distributed. Also using the waist strap helps to reduce the load across the neck and shoulders by distributing the weight onto their hips.

You can also make a quick posture check for yourself and your family. You need to stand without shoes in front of the mirror and pay attention to these signs:

  1. Is your head tilted to one side? Do you see one of your ears lower than the other one?
  2. Are your shoulders at the same height? Is there one more to the front than the other one?
  3. Are your hips at the same height or is there one that seems to be more forward than the other?
  4. Do your knees tend to approach each other?
  5. Are your feet pointing outward or inward or are they equal in position?

Just as important as postural view from the front or the back if you are evaluating your child, a side view can also tell a lot. You need someone to make this evaluation for you.

Stand up in a normal posture and have your examiner look at you from the side and note:

  • Is your head leaning forward?
  • Do you have a curve in your neck?
  • Do you tend to have a hump in your upper back?
  • Is your lower back straight or is there a curve?

We recommend you do this posture check on every member of the family on a regular basis. Specially on children that grow very quickly in their early teen years. It is especially important if you have a preteenager daughter. Girls are more prone to develop scoliosis (abnormal lateral deviation of the spine) than boys.

When they start growing more quickly, there is a phase where their legs seem to become much longer compared to their trunk. It is often soon after that leg growth spurt that the spine grows faster, and this is when it is crucial to make sure it grows nice and straight.

If you notice one of those signs, or if you or your family member suffer from pain when trying to get in a good posture, we recommend you make an appointment with the chiropractor. Correcting vertebral subluxations allows your spine to regain its proper mobility and adapt to a proper posture.

Once your spine is well adjusted and moves better, you can help keep your better posture by getting your body moving. Get up and go for a walk. Go play outside with the kids, playing ball, tennis, basketball, dancing, rollerblading, swimming, etc. There are so many activities you can choose from to train your muscles to support your spine and allow for a better posture. It also creates good healthy habits for your children and is excellent for you.

Chiropractic care is proven to be effective in helping to reverse forward head posture while reducing pain and preventing spinal degeneration. It helps the body to return to its natural homeostasis state. This is a great way to maintain your body full of vitality.

Regardless of what your lifestyle has been in the past, it is never too late to get healthier. Every small step you take towards improving your health will make a big difference. Don’t forget that the one that does not take time to take care of his or her health will be forced to take time to take care of the disease.

You now know not to ignore your body’s messages. Do not wait until your symptoms get worse before correcting those spinal dysfunctions. Health is the best gift you can ever give yourself.

By Sandra Genest-Boudreau | Christophe O. Alves
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Sandra Genest-Boudreau is French-Canadian, who graduated from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in 1990 before coming to the Algarve in 2002. She is passionate about adjusting all her patients, particularly children. Christophe Alves graduated from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC) UK, and has a special interest in Sport Chiropractic. Algarve Quiroprática clinic: EN125 in Pêra | 282 312 853 | 969 397 375
Licença da ERS n.º 17485/2019 de 11-06-2019