Most people understand the importance of standing and sitting up straight. This is true when looking at the spine from the front or back. However, when viewed from the side, a healthy spine is not straight at all but made up of 3 mobile curves.
At birth, our spine is a “C-shaped” backward curve. This is consistent with our position in the womb. By the time we reach adulthood, the neck and low back have forward curves, while the mid back retains its original C-shape.
By 3-6 months of age, the forward curve of the neck develops. This coincides with our ability to raise the head and look around. Giving a baby “tummy time” can further develop strength in these muscles. Lying an older baby on the stomach over a Swiss Ball and moving them about while holding onto the hips is great for developing muscle strength as well as balance.
Between 12-18 months of age, we are standing and walking. During this time, we develop the forward lumbar or low back curve. Chiropractors discourage long periods in “Jolly Jumpers” for young babies who have not yet developed this curve or the muscle strength to support it.
Changes in the curves can have negative effect on spinal health. For example, a forward shift in head posture of 2-3cm can increase the strain on the neck by 100%. Daily task, such as long periods at the computer, may also cause neck problems.
Forward head posture can be improved through chiropractic adjustments and exercises that strengthen the neck extensors and upper back muscles. Lying the spine in an extended position can also be very helpful. This can be done using a posture pole, a yoga roll or even a rolled-up towel.
Position a rolled-up towel or posture pole along the length of the spine as you lay on your back, with your knees bent, feet on the floor and arms by your side with palms facing up. This should not be painful but feel comfortable – with a sense that you are opening through you shoulders and chest. Breather slowly and relax for 5 minutes.
To discuss more queries with your chiropractor regarding the curvature of your spine, book online @ https://www.centenarychiro.com.au/ or call us today on 07 3381 0440