Spinal Orthotics may be a treasured companion for the individual who understands that maintaining optimum posture is an essential, even imperative, part to their health and wellbeing regime. For those exhibiting observable postural changes, it is not an unreasonable proposition to suggest that spinal orthotics are a practical intervention. The idea of an ‘ideal postural design’ is partly based on an evidence based concept known as The Harrison Spinal Model. This model looks at the geometry of the spine across large populations and seeking to establish normative measures relating to the orientation and angulation of elements of the spine. There are weaknesses and potential pitfalls to this study, however there is also a compelling argument that cracks wide open a need for further enquiry and study in this discrete, yet foundational field.
Arguably most everyone in this day and age is disadvantaged, or behind the proverbial 8-ball in terms of posture, given the modern obligation to screen-focussed device-based interfacing. It has been proposed that the rate of postural decline is directly proportionate to the rate of technological advancement. It must be noted that there are certain instances where anatomical variation, pathological processes (for example Scheuermann’s disease or advanced osteoporosis) and acquired injuries may not be amenable or suitable for orthotic intervention. However the hypothesis that many people will benefit from posture focused spinal orthotic program is plausible.
Loss of vertical height is a decisive sign of postural decline, and one that can be directly measured over time, or observed transiently. Some prime examples include people who exhibit forward head posture (chin poking), increased thoracic kyphosis (rounded back), or reduced lumbar lordosis often seen as a forward lean when severe and arthritic. The more permanent manifestation of ‘postural decline’ and loss of vertical height is observed radiological as degenerative changes to the bone, inter-vertebral discs, and associated structures. Visually this looks like many short-stubby-melted candles stacked on-top of one another. It is widely accepted that poor posture when prolonged plays a leading role in the degeneration of the spine in conjunction with other pervasive known disease processes.
In addition to remaining physically active and following recommended ergonomic guidelines spinal orthotics are low risk, the least invasive, and the effective means of maintaining ideal posture. The use of spinal orthotics are also a practical way of grappling back a respectable degree of healthy spinal curvature where prolonged poor posture has become compromising to the extent that permanent changes are now present in the distortion or reduction of what is considered healthy spinal curves.
Spinal orthotics are one of many unique and highly effective offerings at Head Above Osteopathy and represents a system for deep spinal rehabilitation and ongoing maintenance with long lasting benefits.
How do Spinal Orthotics work?
Spinal orthotics address the loss of normal spinal curves helping re-establish correct spinal curvature by producing a deep localised spinal stretch. When correctly prescribed, both short-term and long-term use of spinal orthotics will improve overall movement, relieve muscle tension, and correct the length of shortened ligaments directly supporting and contributing to geometry of your spinal curve.
The reason Head Above Osteopathy utilises spinal orthotics is because there is currently no practical or better means to directly effect spinal curvature on the market. In-fact hands on treatment even with specific exercise rehabilitation may not be enough to affect and sustain ideal spinal curvature in an individual. In some instances an individual may be flexible enough where hands on osteopathic treatment and exercise rehabilitation is enough, however spinal orthotics may enhance this process and are an excellent means of consistently maintaining a habit of retaining healthy spinal curves and an elongated spine.
Your treating clinician at Head Above Osteopathy is specially trained to examine and assess your spine with physical tests and imaging such as X-ray to correctly prescribed spinal orthotics to remedy your condition and offer long lasting and potentially permanent improvements to your spinal and ultimately overall health and wellbeing.