Your spine consists of four primary curves
The cervical curve at the top of your spine consists of 7 vertebrae in a concave shape; the thoracic consists of 12 vertebrae in a convex shape; the lumbar 5 of the largest vertebrae in the spine forming a concave shape; and finally the sacral curve, consisting of 5 fused vertebrae and a convex shape. These curves link together to form the S-shape of your spine, enabling it to compress and expand in order to perform shock absorbing and movement duties. The essential shape of your spine is important for staying upright and preventing pain, but there are many forces working against you. Over time, the compressive nature of gravity, along with other factors, conspires to alter the curvature of your spine.
Don’t let poor posture alter your spine
There are already enough factors outside of your control which can take a toll on your spine; therefore, it behooves you to not let posture become one of them! Posture is fully within our control, but unfortunately, too many of us adopt poor postural habits which put undue stress on the spine. Over time, this stress can change the anatomy of your spine. Sitting loads the lumbar vertebrae with up to three times as much pressure as standing, which means that we need to have extra awareness of our posture while we sit, especially for long periods of time. Next time you catch yourself slumping over, try a quick posture reset:
- Roll your shoulders back and down
- Pull your belly button in toward your spine and up to the ribs
- Move your butt back in your seat and drop your tailbone down toward the floor.
- Take a deep breath
Chances are, you will find yourself slouching or slumping forward again in a matter of minutes because that’s how your muscles are trained. But every time you catch yourself, do a reset!
What’s more, we can help you train those postural and phasic muscles to support your spine and maintain good posture throughout the day. If you are interested in changing your postural health for the better, give our office in Westwood a call to schedule an appointment today.