Posture and your child.

 “As the twig is bent, so grows the tree”  William Garner Sutherland (1873 – 1954) Founder of Cranial Osteopathy

A growing body of evidence shows that poor posture in childhood can lead to a lifetime of chronic pain, fatigue, and low self­ esteem. Children naturally imitate the behaviour of adults around them. If you care about your posture, so will your children. But that isn’t the only reason to take care of your own posture, you will be a more energetic and pain­-free parent as a result.

“School age children spend a growing amount of their free time watching TV or playing with hand­held devices. Many people have unsupportive furniture in their living rooms, leaving children mould their spines to the shape of the sofa and reinforcing their bad habits. In most cases, kids often hunch over when they are executing a task, walking, or even seated. This is compounded by sitting all day and carrying weighty backpacks at school. With time, the adverse effects add up to severe problems later in life.

Good posture is when your child’s back has the least amount of strain placed on it through keeping bones and joints aligned properly, allowing muscles to be used properly as well. Good posture naturally happens when the upper body’s muscles are balanced in strength and used uniformly. Bad posture can result in stress on the spine at certain levels. For instance the slouched position can put a lot of unnecessary loading on the middle back spinal region, which can lead to jutting forward of the head and jaw. This then leads to headaches and the inability to concentrate. This slumped posture can also effect the efficiency of breathing and gut motility. Poor posture also can put strain on the low back, as poor posture goes hand in hand with poor lifting and carrying techniques.

Correct posture is more than just sitting and standing upright. It means that the bones in your spine and associated muscles and fascia are properly aligned so that your body can function at its full potential. With your spine in correct position, the muscles can function as they were designed. Osteopathic care can correct poor posture by fixing musculoskeletal misalignments.

A body that is properly aligned can then move and function as a unit as nature intended. Postural exercises can re­train your muscles to help hold you in proper position. Good posture allows your nervous system to function correctly which results in more energy, increased strength and endurance, improved sleep, and better overall health and sports performance.

Besides musculoskeletal adjustments, an osteopath can address your lifestyle ergonomics and give you specific stretches and exercises. By taking care of your posture, you are taking care of your health. Remember to tell your family and children about their posture. The younger you are when you start, the easier the change will be and you are likely to prevent problems in the future.