Whether your golden years are now or decades off, good posture is correlated to reduced fall risk. And the other good part? Your favorite chiropractor is a great resource for both achieving and maintaining good posture.
The Link Between Posture and Fall Risk
Here’s the not-so-good part: not only does poor posture lead to back pain, it leads to an increased fall risk. You’re twice as likely to fall if you have back pain, according to studies. And if you’re in pain, you’re less likely to move, which leads to weaker muscles for both movement and posture, which then lead to an even greater risk of falling. It can become quite the vicious cycle. Back pain is not only linked to an increased risk of falling, it’s often tied to poor posture. And if you have poor posture, your body is poorly balanced and you may also have hindered range of motion. For example, if you trip or slip, your poor, imbalanced posture makes it harder to get your feet back under you in time.
Falling statistics go beyond the number elderly of folks who take a tumble in any given year. There’s associated injuries (broken hips and head injuries top the list), medical costs (falls incur over $50 billion annually), deaths and more. The other problem is that all these numbers get worse year over year. The CDC projects that the fall death rate in the U.S. alone will rise to 7 deaths every hour by 2030. Part of that is due to our baby boomer generation entering the 65+ age group, and part of it is due to a life of sitting at computers and/or on couches. Statistics also show that you’re more likely to fall if you experience foot pain as well. Improper posture places uneven wear and tear on your feet, often leading to pain.
How Your Chiropractor Can Help With Posture
Chiropractors are trained to evaluate posture and aid in promoting correct posture. They can help in four powerful ways.
Quality Testing - Fixing posture is more than remembering to sit or stand straight. And to properly fix posture, it takes getting to know your unique case. Poor posture can stem from improper curvature in the neck or back, scoliosis, how you hold your head, injury, poor ergonomics and more. Chiropractors have various posture assessments and tests to correctly identify the root cause(s) of poor posture and the best approach to treating you and only you.
Ergonomics Evaluation - One of the best ways to avoid poor posture is to develop a lifestyle that promotes good posture. Your chiropractor can evaluate your workspace and home lifestyle, and give you guidance on how to adjust your lifestyle in a way that proper posture will come more easily.
Chiropractic Adjustments - Chronically poor posture reshapes your neck and spine, and changes how your muscles hold all those bones together. Chiropractic adjustments can coax your spine back into alignment, making it easier for your body to achieve and maintain correct posture.
Muscle Work - Building off of adjustments, your muscles need rehabilitative work, too. For example, if you’re hunched forward, then muscles on your backside are going to be longer than they should be while muscles in front are shorter. Your chiropractor can guide you through carefully calculated stretches and rehabilitative work to balance your body out and hold correct posture.
Good posture can protect you and potentially save your life. You don’t have to live in fear of falling. You can work with your chiropractor to improve your posture, thus significantly reducing both pain levels and your risk of falling.