Our spinal health is something that we have to preserve over a lifetime, and it starts by ensuring that our children grow up taking proper care of their spine during this important developmental phase. Poor posture has been a growing epidemic in the United States, in part as a result of the growing presence of technology in our lives. From heavy, poorly fitting backpacks to iPads and video games that see us hunching over in our chairs, the modern world is full of risk points that can lead to damaged spines from poor posture. Checking your children’s posture and body mechanic habits are essential to avoiding this and creating good habits.
Why It’s Important To Monitor Your Child’s Posture
Regular monitoring of your child’s posture is essential to ensuring lifelong spinal health. There are three major reasons you should check their posture and body mechanics regularly.
1. Development Of The Spine – Our spines should have a natural “S” shape that helps to support our structure and movement. If the spine should move out of alignment it can cause long-term issues due to subluxations, misalignments of the vertebrae. These can lead to restriction of the nerves and blood vessels in the spine which result in poor oxygen and nutrient supply to the affected areas. As the condition worsens pain and numbness can result, and the way we use our bodies can change to compensate.
2. Neck & Back Strain – Subluxations result in strain on the body, causing the muscles to adjust to compensate resulting in strain throughout the body as it works to compensate for the poor alignments.
3. Organ Function – The body isn’t intended to function in a slouched over posture, a fact that’s evident if you attempt to take a deep breath while hunched over. Additionally slouching compresses the muscles and organs throughout the abdomen, impeding proper function and putting strain on them.
All of these are excellent reasons to ensure that you ensure that your child’s backpack is properly fitted and not overweight for them, that they sit properly at the computer and when using electronic devices, and that they engage in activities that aid in flexibility and get them up and moving around. Sedentary lifestyles are detrimental to our spinal health, so encouraging them to live active lifestyles is a great defense against poor spinal health.
How To Check Your Child’s Posture
There are a couple quick tests you can do to check your child’s posture to ensure that there isn’t existing damage already. The first is the standing wall test, involving standing with your feet 6 inches from the wall, placing the buttocks, shoulders, and head against the wall, and then placing your hand between your spine and the wall, and your neck and the wall. You should have no more, and no less, than 1-2” of clearance in these areas. The other test is the snow angel test, which starts by having you in the same position mentioned above. Then place your forearms against the wall facing outwards, raise them over your head and keep your forearms pressed firmly against the wall. If you can’t accomplish this there’s a good chance you have spinal issues.
If you’re concerned about the spinal health of you or your child, contact Dr. Bryan Foss at Batha Chiropractic. He and his team have been serving the Denver, CO area with pride, aiding patients in maintaining good spinal health and recovering from injury.