Poor Posture: If You’re Bent Over, You
Look and Feel Older
By Dr. Renee Tocco
In the past, many believed the world was flat. Leaches were once used to bleed patients of ____________________________________ their diseases. It’s a simple fact that as time
passes our ideas progress and we discover
“…if you have lost your lateral spinal new truths. Here is a false belief that still
curves you can only stand up straight may hold your mind captive: In the past,
and even according to medicine, if your as long you are concentrating on your
head slumped forward, your shoulders rolled posture.”
in, and your hips rolled under, you were just
getting old or had poor posture. Today, medical science has uncovered a whole new
meaning to the alteration of the normal
curves of the spine.
For anyone who believes that posture only
affects how you look, here’s the challenge:
Carefully examine any senior citizen that
you consider to be vivacious, energetic,
active, and in good health. I guarantee that
they have great posture and aren’t slumped
over like the average older person in our
country. In fact, proper posture is the #1
factor in promoting Anti-Aging.
So what does normal posture look like?
We’re all taught that the spine should not
One of the most common side effects of have curves, as in scoliosis, and this is true.
trauma is the alteration of these critical This is in reference to viewing the human
curves. One unexpected fall, a hard hit frame from front to back. However, many
playing football, or a minor fender-bender in people are unaware about the normal spinal
a car can modify the imperative curves we curves from the side (lateral curves). Spinal
spend the first few years of our life curves develop from the fetal stage in the
developing. To make matters worse, people womb until a baby walks. The lateral curves
think that poor posture is a voluntary. On the allow the spine to support more weight and
contrary, it is the involuntary muscles that withstand more stress than if it were straight.
hold us upright. As a child, I was often With gravitational pull, ten times more
reminded by my mother to stand up straight. weight can be supported by a curved spine
Although this can seem like nagging, I am than if it were straight. You can see this
now grateful because I have great posture. principle put to work when
My mother’s reminders helped to strengthen traveling over the beautiful bridges in
my voluntary muscles. However, if you Charleston.
have lost your lateral spinal curves you can
only stand up straight as long as you are
concentrating on your posture. The
American lifestyle contributes greatly to the these deadly degenerative changes occur, problem because of the hours people spend people usually begin to experience sitting in front of computers and TV. symptoms of some kind. A shocking 2004 study in the Journal of the Parents, take a close look at your family. American Geriatrics Society revealed that Make your children aware of the importance early death could be predicted by the curve of proper posture early in life so they can in the middle back. An elite group of develop good habits. Children with medical scientists – Deborah M. Kado, MD, improper posture grow into adults with MS; Mei-Hua Huang , DrPh; Arun S. progressively worse posture. This leads to a Karlamangla, MD, PhD; Elizabeth Barrett-lot more than just a poor appearance. Bad Connor, MD; and Gail A. Greendale, MD – posture makes you age. found that as the curve in the middle back, the kyphosis, became greater than normal, Here is the good news about poor posture: death came sooner. Although this condition is progressive and relentless, it is preventable. Poor posture Another groundbreaking study published in can be detected in our youth years before it the medical journal Spine (Volume 30 (21), becomes a degenerative condition. There is November 1, 2005 pp. 2388-2392) revealed even hope for the Baby Boomers that realize work done by Kentaro Shimizu, MD; they have altered lateral curves by the way Masaya Nakamura, MD; Yuji Nishikawa, they look. We are now able to restore MD; Sadahisa Hijikata, MD; Kazuhiro spinal structure through spinal Chiba, MD; and Yoshiaki Toyama, MD. rehabilitation and appropriate This study once again shows the vital, chiropractic care. urgent need for normal curves. They found that progressive kyphosis of the cervical People often believe that what they don’t spine (a loss or reversing of the neck’s curve) know won’t hurt them. As a doctor I believe resulted in destruction of nerve fibers due to that what you don’t know can hurt you. My chronic compression of the spinal cord. The family, my patients, and I get adjusted, eat damage is associated with both well, and exercise to maintain good posture, continuous mechanical compression and because we know these practices are keys to vascular changes in the spinal cord. longevity and anti-aging.
“The late Christopher Reeves had a
Yours in Health, spinal accident that demonstrated how even a small area of injury to the spinal cord can affect the function of Renee Tocco, D.C. the whole body.” Dr. Renee Tocco is the director of Vitality
Health, located on Sam Rittenberg Road in The late Christopher Reeves had a spinal Charleston. Dr. Tocco holds a degree in accident that demonstrated how even a small Chiropractic from Sherman College of area of injury to the spinal cord can affect Chiropractic, Spartanburg, SC. the function of the whole body. As a chiropractor, I treat various patients with
small injuries in their spine that affect
everything from their eyesight to their big
toe! This interference often causes pain,
organic problems, function problems, but
ALWAYS accelerates the aging process. As