Posture and the Benefits of Chiropractic
Chiropractic is a medical profession that primarily deals with spinal health care. The word chiropractic comes from the Greek word “chiros” which means done by hand.Chiropractors are spinal health care experts within the healthcare system in South Africa and around the world.
The aim of a chiropractor is to improve the condition of ones skeletal system, including muscles and nerve function. A visit to a chiropractor entails the examination, assessment, diagnosis and treatment of the musculoskeletal system.
Chiropractors treat without the use of drugs and surgery and try and help patients avoid these avenues if possible.
So why would you need a chiropractor? The most common complaint that presents to us is lower back pain. It is the second most common complaint in the world after the ‘flu. Individuals in wheelchairs commonly complain about lower back pain, pain between the shoulder blades and muscle spasms in the legs and thighs.A major cause of this is the posture of the person while sitting in the wheelchair. Most wheelchairs have the backrest and seat at a 90 degree angle. However when one is seated, there are curves present in the spine. The midback area curves outwards somewhat while the lower back curves inwards.
A straight back rest does not support these curves, so most people slump downward in their chair which also pushes the neck forward. While that way of sitting is stable, one can’t sit like that all day without experiencing posture related pain problems.
“Pain develops when muscles are asked to do a job they aren’t designed for and to “stand in” for muscles that are paralyzed. There are two types of muscles: tonic, for holding (the postural muscles); and phasic, for mobility (the task-oriented muscles). They are union workers. They don’t like to do things not in their job description. With paralysis, there are fewer muscles available to work, and the remaining muscles are asked to do work they weren’t designed for. Asking phasic muscles to hold and tonic muscles to move
results in pain and fatigue.
In addition, if these muscles are doing a different job, they are not available to do their own job. This situation compromises functionality. Muscles also have a length they like to operate in, and if they are stretched or shortened due to poor posture they become weak. Poor posture sets up and exacerbates muscle imbalances.” –
JD Hastings (University of Washington, Rehabilitation Medicine) A chiropractor will assess the posture of the person, taking into account the type of chair used, the type of work a patient does as well and work on creating proper postural alignment, thereby reducing pain. Chiropractic is a gentle safe effective way of loosening up tight muscles and joints of the spinal column.
Treatment generally includes massage therapy, dry needling / acupuncture, manipulation, hot and cold therapy and stretching exercises.
Patients on the spinal maintenance programme are also advised on posture, nutrition, ergonomics (the fit of your body to your workplace) and exercises.
Yomika Venketsamy DC (MTECH: Chiropractic – DUT)
Dr Venketsamy is a chiropractor at Palmiet Wellness Centre in Westville,
Durban. She qualified at the Durban University of Technology in 2007 and specialises in all types of musculoskeletal conditions from lower back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder, elbow and wrist pain, hip, knee and foot/ ankle pain, and colic in babies.She is also associated with many corporate programmes involved in spinal education and wellness.
Dr Venketsamy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org