People often equate poor posture with being lazy or overweight, but posture is truly a non-conscious event. The posture of an infant is poor due to undeveloped parts of the brain that control the postural muscles. As a child matures, his brain receives a continual bombardment of
sensory stimuli from his joints and muscles, eyes, and ears. These stimuli lead to development of the cerebellum and parts of the brain that govern postural control. As we witness the decline in brain function throughout life, we witness a generalized decrease in postural tone.
The cerebellum, a small part of our lower brain in the back of the head, plays a vital role in coordinating muscles, controlling many reflexes, and keeping us erect in the earth’s gravitational field. Recent research demonstrates that the cerebellum’s contribution to control of all brain
functions — especially cognition and behavior — may be just as great as its control over motor The cerebellum receives a great portion of its input from the receptors embedded in the joints and muscles. Although humans are not constantly moving, there is a continuous amount of
stimulation to the cerebellum from the mechanoreceptors in the joints and muscles, due to the constant load on these structures as a result of gravity. Gravity is thus responsible for providing a source of constant stimuli to our brains.
If the joints and muscles of the body, especially the spinal joints (which receive the majority of the force in the upright posture of humans), are moving correctly, then there is an optimum amount of mechanoreceptor stimulation to the cerebellum and brain, resulting in a appropriate control of the postural muscles. The postural muscles then have increased endurance, allowing them to hold an individual upright for long periods of time.
If an individual has altered biomechanics/movement of a joint, then he may have a decreased amount of mechanoreceptor stimulation to the brain and, in turn, have decreased stimulation to the postural muscles. This could in result in and decreased efficiency of these muscles, leading to
The question often arises: What is the best way to improve or maintain postural integrity?
Although exercise of the back muscles is extremely important in this process, many of these back muscles are non-consciously, reflexogenically controlled by the cerebellum; therefore, exercise has a minimal effect. The deepest muscles throughout the spine (together called the intrinsic layer) extend from one vertebra to the next, making them completely dependent on joint motion and reflexive control from the cerebellum. Therefore, maintaining appropriate joint motion (which chiropractors are trained to analyze and treat) is necessary for correct posture.
As a chiropractic neurologist, Dr. Azzolino and his staff have the ability to assess not only joint motion and function, but also the function of the areas of the central nervous system. They are trained to prescribe specific treatments and exercises to maximize function, leading to optimum postural control.
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Dr. Sergio F. Azzolino is an internationally renowned clinician who has been serving his profession and patients from around the world since 1995. In 2012…