We know that poor posture affects adults who spend hours working at desks and in front of computers, but children can be adversely affected by poor posture as well. The spinal column encases and protects the spinal cord that extends from the brain and sends messages to every part of the body. The nerves that originate in the spinal cord carry sensory information from extremities and organs to the brain while controlling bodily function. When children spend hours slouching in front of televisions, computer screens, or over smart phones or gaming devices, the natural curvature of the spine is affected. These small changes in spinal curvature, called subluxations, can compress blood vessels and restrict the flow of blood, oxygen and nutrients to growing organs and tissues. It is estimated that 56% of teens’ spines are deformed or misaligned from slouching. In addition to the overuse of technology, heavy book bags and backpacks take a toll on young spines. This constant stress and misalignment can cause improper bone growth that can be difficult or impossible to correct.
In addition to potential skeletal damage, spinal misalignment due to poor posture can be an indicator of other potentially serious health issues.
For optimum health, kids need plenty of physical activity. Outdoor play and participation in sports contributes to muscle conditioning. Weakened core and abdominal muscles fail to support the spine, contributing to poor posture. This lack of muscular support puts increased pressure on discs, joints and ligaments and can lead to strain injuries like disc degeneration. These types of conditions can be difficult to diagnose until they cause pain, meaning that permanent damage may have already occurred. For young athletes, poor posture can have an adverse affect on athletic performance. Sitting and slouching for long periods, and unevenly carrying a heavy backpack contributes to tight muscles and decreased agility. In all cases of poor posture, compensation for uneven muscle development or tightness can result in additional damage to coordinating muscles and tissues.
Checking your child’s posture and encouraging an active lifestyle now can pay off in a big way down the road. Have your child examined and assessed by a certified chiropractor who can identify spinal alignment and posture issues. At Balanced Health and Wellness, our team of skilled professionals works to provide a comprehensive approach to care that includes diet, environmental factors, chiropractic and nutritional counseling. Call 248.397.8122 today or fill out the form in the sidebar to learn more about how chiropractic can contribute to better long-term health for you and your family.