Challenges and Causes of Hunched Posture
There are several reasons why you, your parent, relative or friend may walk with a hunched posture and/or shuffle. It is important to spot and correct these issues in posture and movement.
1.) Poor posture- a stooped or hunched body position.
This is usually due to years of bad or progressively bad posture. Typically, this means the muscles on the front of your body are stronger and shorter than the muscles on the back side of your body. This results in asymmetry of muscle tone leading to an imbalance of joint position which can cause a stooped posture and arthritic changes. Like getting braces for your teeth, working to restore good posture may be uncomfortable and taxing, but it is very important to restore good posture to prevent joint breakdown and the pain associated with that condition.
2.) Lack of balance/joint awareness
It is really important for the brain to know where and what position/angle each joint in the body is positioned. If the brain cannot adapt quickly to movement or body positioning there can be problems with balance and coordination. In the medical world we call this proprioception. There are three things that are responsible for balance: the eyes, the small part of the brain in the back of our head called the cerebellum and the inner ear also known as the vestibular system. When one of these three components are not working well then people can struggle with balance.
It is important to practice movement skills such as standing on one foot, quick twitch movements, taking larger steps, looking up not down when walking and strength exercising. All must be done in a safe monitored environment. The saying I am TOO OLD shouldn’t be an excuse not to move as much as possible. The saying “IF YOU DON’T USE IT, YOU’ll LOSE IT” is true.
3.) Incoordination of movement
This is similar to balance, but another component to movement called cross-crawl movement is responsible. If you watch most children and healthy adults you will notice that when they walk they naturally move their arms in cross swing motion. When the left foot takes a step forward the right arm instinctively swings at the same time. This natural movement is critical for brain pathways to constantly send information to the rest of the body. A lack of cross crawl results in a stiff looking gait that usually coincides with a stooped or hunched posture.
4.) Neurological compromise
Another reason for taking short shuffled steps can sometimes be a more serious symptom of neurological compromise. Early signs of Parkinson’s disease or dementia may present in this fashion.
At OptiLife Chiropractic we are dedicated to monitoring and testing your posture and healthy movements. We offer a FREE POSTURE ANALYSIS using state of the art posture software. The screening includes pictures of your posture and provides you with a comprehensive assessment of your posture and movement. We can provide you with the treatments and/or exercises to get or keep you on track. Don’t suffer from the many painful issues caused by chronic hunched posture.
Call or email us today to set up YOUR posture analysis!