Posture and Scoliosis
Good posture depends on several factors. While exercise, attitude and practice can positively affect posture, some postural problems need more aggressive attention due to complications which can jeopardize good health and well-being.
The foundation for normal spinal posture is laid out early in life. Abnormal alignment of a baby's spine will set the stage for eventual distortions. If the base of a child's spine is tilted incorrectly, it can wreak havoc with the structure that builds upon it.
Normally the human body attempts to maintain erect posture by balancing "back and forth" over the lower spine. If the lower vertebrae (bones of the back) are wedged to one side, it can cause the spine to compensate by bending into an abnormal curve. This condition is commonly referred to as a scoliosis. The medical approach to scoliosis has been to administer braces and electrical stimuli, neither of which have proven very successful. Upon termination of such practices, the abnormal curve usually returns to its initial state within five years.
Are abnormal spinal curves unhealthy?
When vertebrae move out of their normal alignment, neurological disturbances known as subluxations can result. This condition impedes the normal transmission of mental impulses (nerve supply) from the brain to the body, thus inhibiting body function. Besides interfering with the innate ability of the body to heal, subluxations disturb the "righting reflex" which allows the body to adapt to abnormal equilibrium permitting the body to stand upright.
What is a subluxation?
A subluxation is a neurological disturbance caused by a nerve that is not functioning properly. The body depends upon the free flow of nerve communication - from the brain, through the spinal column, and to all parts of the human body- in order to govern itself and all of its functions. Chiropractic science has determined that the interruption, blockage, or aberration of this flow of information can lead to serious health complications. Conversely, the removal of such interferences has been shown to have important health benefits.
Vertebrae fit together so that the nerve supply produced in the brain may filter down the spinal cord and out through the nerves. These messages are responsible for communicating information throughout the body so that growth, repair and healing may take place. When vertebrae are out of their natural alignment, the potential for the nerve interference is great. Nerves become stretched, twisted, or "pinched", disrupting this vital communication system of the body. As a result, one or more functions of the body may begin to fail. As the body weakens, health declines and if uncorrected, the body will ultimately give in to sickness and disease. While traditional medicine would resort to treating the symptoms of such disease, the Doctor of Chiropractic considers correcting the cause of disease - in this case subluxations - so that healthy body function may once again take place.
In addition to nerve interference, subluxations cause abnormal posture and apply tension to vertebrae, muscles, ligaments and tendons. The increased tension can interfere with blood flow to internal organs. Lack of oxygen to cells, tissues and organs, via the blood, can also cause dysfunction and disease. Doctors of Chiropractic gently line up the vertebrae into their natural position. This process may take weeks or months depending on the extent of the misalignment. As the subluxations are reduced, however, nerve supply communicates more effectively throughout the body and healing may begin to take place. As the body heals, the symptoms of dysfunction and disease diminish.
Chiropractic is a very specific science. By minimizing nerve interference, the natural strengths of the human body are maximized, increasing the body's ability to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery.