Chiropractors are often referred to as “spine doctors”. While it’s true they specialize in spinal health, a chiropractor isn’t a medical doctor – something that is important to remember!
If you’re suffering from bad posture, you may be tempted to see a chiropractor. It’s important to know what a chiropractor can and can’t do for bad posture! We’re going take a quick look at this issue from a few angles.
Lower back pain
A lot of people sit in positions that are comfortable for working at a computer. The problem is that these sitting positions aren’t always great for long-term posture. Certain back pains may be relieved (though not fixed, of course) with forward head translation or slouching positions, but ultimately these sorts of postures won’t do you much good in the long term, and may do more damage than good to your back, prolonging the pain all the more!
A chiropractor can help with certain lower back pains. The bulk of these pains stems from the sacroiliac joint, which is the joint that links the lowest part of your spine to your pelvis. This joint is something that a chiropractor can massage and manipulate to relieve the pain in this area. Once your back is in less pain, you’ll find yourself much more comfortable when it comes to sitting in positions that are good for overall posture in the long run.
The work of a chiropractor isn’t always hands-on. They know a lot about the health of the spine and neck, so if you do have a problem, they can help you out with suggestions. A chiropractor may well know that they’re unable to help with their client’s problem by massage and manipulation and will resort to useful advice (or a recommendation to see a medical doctor – which a chiropractor is not, remember!). Of course, there may be some less reputable chiropractors out there who will give it a go simply to have an excuse to charge their clients.
A chiropractor may simply talk to you to get a feel for how you treat your spinal health from day to day. With this, they may be able to spot the problem, which you can then fix yourself with a habit change or a cheap solution. One of the most effective ways of fixing posture problems, for example, is a posture brace. Posture braces vary in features such as their rigidity, so finding one that’s right for you may require some expert advice. One example of a posture brace that a chiropractor and even a medical doctor may recommend is the Bax-U.
Conditions that encourage bad posture
There are several medical conditions out there that affect spines and necks which many people seek the assistance of a chiropractor to relieve their symptoms. One of the most common is scoliosis, which is a medical condition in which your spine has a sideways curve. There are rarer and more severe conditions such as kyphosis, often referred to as hunchback, and an irregular posture of the head relative to the rest of the body (chronic forward head translation). In a perfect example of life kicking you when you’re down, such positions often encourage bad posture which makes the problems associated with the conditions worse.
It’s very important to understand what a chiropractor can and can’t do with these conditions. The fact of chiropractics, in general, is that it’s an alternative medicine; there’s a reason a chiropractor isn’t considered a medical doctor. And remember: if there’s substantial data to back up a pursuit’s effectiveness on a wide scale, then it isn’t called an ‘alternative’ medicine; it’s simply called medicine. Some people will find that they can help with back problems; others will find it makes no difference. When it comes to chronic medical conditions, it’s best to see a medical doctor or look to long-term aids such as back braces. There’s no research suggesting that a chiropractor can fix problems such as scoliosis.
There’s not a definitive answer to this question. It depends on the cause of your posture problem. A chiropractor may be of great help because they can help relieve pain, point you in the direction of helpful products, or make suggestions for changes in daily habits. But there’s little evidence a chiropractor can get hands-on and directly fix a long-term posture problem. Still, this doesn’t mean it isn’t worth seeing one and learn what advice and actions they have to offer you!
I plan on testing every posture corrector you can buy including braces, posture solutions at a computer, posture chairs, and smart posture devices. I blog about the products here. Drop me a line anytime for questions and I'll try to help!