As a chiropractor in Downtown Toronto, I love good posture. Today, I am going to teach you 5 quick ways to check your posture. All you are going to need is your mirror and your cellphone. We are going to check all three major spinal regions to see how your posture may be affecting your spine. I am going to break down each check into three regions: your cervical, thoracic, and lumbar spine.
Cervical Spine Posture Check
For this quick check, you are going to need your mirror and your cell phone.
Start in front of your mirror. Look at your earlobes, look to see if one side is lower than the other. If you see one side lower than the other, this can be an indication of a misalignment in your cervical spine where there is a bend to one side.
Next, take out your cellphone and pull up the camera app. Stay standing in front of the mirror but turn to the side. Keeping your head looking straight ahead, take a picture of yourself in the mirror using your camera. What you are assessing is if you have forward head posture. You are looking for is your ear to line up with the middle of your shoulder. As an example, the photo below is what you are looking for.
Forward head posture is probably the most common postural issue we see in the our chiropractic clinic in Toronto. As a result, forward head posture has probably the biggest impact for people experiencing neck pain, pain across their shoulders or even mid back pain. This is important because for every inch that you push your head forward, you effectively double the weight of your head causing your neck muscles to work extra hard. As a result, this places a lot of extra strain on your spine and spinal cord and nerves as well and can lead to neck pain and headaches.
Thoracic Spine Posture Check
This is commonly known as your mid back. For these tests, you just need you mirror.
Start by looking at your shoulders. Are they level? If they are not level this can be an indication that your thoracic spine is curving to one side. As a result of this curve, it will cause your shoulder to look uneven.
Next, standing in front of the mirror, put one finger in the notch at the base of your neck between your collar bones. Put another finger in your belly button. Do the fingers line up in a straight line above each other? If they don't line up, this is telling you which way your spine is leaning. As a result of this, you place extra weight onto one side of your spine while straining the opposite side. This often leads to such a weight discrepancy that people feel it all the way from their feet to their mid back.
Lumbar Spine Posture Check
This is your low back. For this test, stand in front of the mirror, point your thumbs toward the sides of your body. Using your thumbs, press in the squishy area between your pelvis and your rib cage. While still pressing in, slide your thumbs down until you feel a hard bone on each side. Stop each side once you feel it. Hold each thumb out straight to the side.
Are they even? For many people, they are not. Consequently, this is an indication of a pelvis misalignment and can be a big cause of low back and pelvis pain for people. As a result, this is why one pant leg tends to drag on the ground and wear out while the other is perfectly fine.
Lastly, if you noticed any postural imbalances, you should see a chiropractor to help you with your spinal alignment. If you live or work in Toronto, contact us and we will answer any questions you may have.