Dealing with Patient Proprioception with Subtle Adjustments
Nobody has bad posture on purpose. As is evidenced by the pursuit of good posture, constant mindful adjustments are required to keep from slipping into bad habits. Few people have the discipline and drive to be ever-cognizant of their posture. For most, proprioception takes over.
Proprioception – also called “muscle sense” or “joint position sense” – is the subconscious nature of our bodies to understand their existence in space and, duly, position ourselves in a comfortable manner. The best way to illustrate this is to consider walking straight forward in the pitch black: you know your body’s relative position even if you can’t see it, and you understand how it exists in space. This is an inherent function of our brains.
The problem with proprioception is that because it’s subconscious, we have little to no control over it. As a result, we tend to lapse into habits that may not always be conducive to good posture. For example, jutting the left foot out when standing still or tilting the head slightly while looking forward. Over time, these idiosyncrasies result in spinal misalignment.
It’s the mission of Ideal Spine to help patients realize their proprioception tendencies and, where possible, actively combat negative postural habits.
Correcting proprioception habits
Laying the groundwork for correction of proprioception involves consulting with a patient to help them understand their unconscious habits and the damage they’re doing to the body. Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) is especially effective in outlining this information, thanks to accompanying radiological imaging and quantifiable spinal curvature benchmarks.
As patients begin to get an understanding of how their posture and spine health are being affected by their unconscious, they’re able to consciously make adjustments to combat this. This is the first and simplest approach, although it requires constant vigilance by the patient to actively realize and correct proprioception. The forgetfulness that is human nature invariably demands additional correction methodologies be applied.
In cases of persistent dysfunctional habits, a chiropractor may choose to explore optimal loading exercises with patients. This process involves teaching someone how to better balance themselves, for ideal posture development. For example, a chiropractor may have a patient practice strengthening exercises with one leg, to strengthen this leg where the other may be regularly favored. Another example of optimal loading may have patients executing a series of movements or tasks with their non-dominant side.
The goal of optimal loading is to train the subconscious brain to better balance the body, instead of defaulting to one side or a particular posture.
In the same vein as optimal loading, ergonomics can subtly correct dysfunctional proprioception. Ergonomics help to address specific defaults of the subconscious mind. For example, positioning a computer screen at the appropriate height and angle can resolve the habit of turning or tilting the head, just as getting proper shoe inserts can balance the feet to prevent pronation.
Again, a chiropractor can work to determine exactly where ergonomic intervention may have the biggest effect in correcting dysfunctional proprioception.
Exploring chiropractic solutions
Even though you may not be actively thinking about proprioception, it’s able to be combated and corrected. Postural adjustments, optimal loading, and ergonomics are all viable tools in stymying bad subconscious habits. Ideal Spine is intent on exploring every possible approach to help patients understand and overcome their body’s engrained bad habits, to help them achieve the best possible spine health.
Chiropractic BioPhysics® corrective care trained Chiropractors are located throughout the United States and in several international locations. CBP providers have helped thousands of people throughout the world realign their spine back to health, and eliminate a source of chronic back pain, chronic neck pain, chronic headaches and migraines, fibromyalgia, and a wide range of other health conditions. If you are serious about your health and the health of your loved ones, contact a CBP trained provider today to see if you qualify for care. The exam and consultation are often FREE. See www.CBPpatient.com for providers in your area.
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