May is Posture Month
May is Posture Month – Public Health Campaign for DCs
Engage Patients and the Public with Toolkit, Directory Listing, and Marketing Strategies
May is Posture Month, and it’s our opportunity to get patients engaged and promote your practice. Supported by the Illinois Chiropractic Society along with 50+ other partner associations, the campaign promoting good posture is a public health interest for DCs who consider posture a primary cause of back pain, and the majority of medical physicians who agree.
New low back pain guidelines from the American College of Physicians (ACP)[i] favor spinal manipulation, massage, and motor control exercises (like the clinical StrongPosture® protocols) over medications like Tylenol and Advil, creating a potentially historic opportunity for DCs who assess and address posture.
Recently, the editor of the journal Chiropractic and Manual Therapy published “The New Chiropractic,”[ii] a 10-step plan for broader cultural acceptance of the chiropractic profession. One suggestion made by author Bruce Walker is that chiropractic should develop areas of “generalized special interest,” such as promoting posture awareness and health.
The 2017 Posture Month campaign message is “ACE,”[iii] to help everyone create posture Awareness; take Control of their bodies, and optimize their posture Environment.
Get AWARE of your Posture with a Picture
Posture pictures are the best way to make people aware of how they really stand… their true posture. It’s uncomfortable for many when they see their flexed forward stance, looking like their dad (or grandmother) when they think they’re standing straight.
DCs can and should encourage everyone to have an annual posture assessment. In addition to showing people how to take their own picture, PostureMonth.org has a directory of nearby professionals who offer free posture pictures during the “May is Posture Month” campaign.
DCs who offer free posture pictures in their community for the May campaign will be included in the directory at no cost. We recommend using the PostureZone app with a posture grid, but doctors are welcome to use any app or program they like, even just a mobile device and a six-panel door.
Take CONTROL of how you Stand, Sit and Move
It’s not only IF you move – it’s also HOW you move. All motion is not the same, and all exercise may not necessarily be good exercise. Studies show there’s a significant difference between running on a treadmill or lifting weights versus focused exercise with attention on slow control of specific links in the kinetic chain.
The new ACP guidelines for “non-radicular low back pain” made national headlines in mainstream media when they recommended their 148,000 members to advise passive therapies such as spinal manipulation, massage or acupuncture, as well as active therapies like yoga, tai chi or other Motion Control Exercise (MCE) (i.e. the StrongPosture® protocols taught by DCs) over commonly prescribed drugs. This is unprecedented!
It’s not an exaggeration to say practically all DCs observe and then care for subtle motion dysfunction. This is why chiropractic physicians s should also incorporate MCE to help patients actively retrain coupled control of segmental and global motion toward more accurate positioning and control.
Create an intelligent posture ENVIRONMENT
When people understand common-sense postural biomechanics, they have a framework to address their consumer choices for habits of daily life. How they sit at work, the bed on which they sleep, our choices of desk, chair, mattress, pillow, shoes and more, can have a big effect on posture. DCs should educate people in their body motion, and help them find products that are right for their bodies.
Interest in posture is trending. Understanding the basics helps people avoid gimmicks like supports that help in the short run, but by taking the stress off muscles that should be working allow them to weaken, compounding postural issues.
Positioning the DC as Posture Specialist: The Posture Month Strategy
The “May is Posture Month ACE” campaign promotes the importance of posture as an important and actionable health indicator.
In addition, the opioid crisis is also setting the stage for doctors of chiropractic to make a far larger contribution to our society. For the first time, in March the National Press Club hosted a press conference that brought together non-DCs to publicly communicate the potential savings in dollars and lives chiropractic physicians can make with non-pharmaceutical pain relief. Along with the new back pain guidelines from the ACP, this means new opportunities for inter-professional referrals to DCs from evidence-aligned medical physicians who view DCs as “the Posture Specialists.”
Posture is a scalable health concept that aligns with the profession’s history, contemporary science and the Chiropractic Roadmap’s suggestion for DCs to “improve posture through motor control.” Actively integrating and communicating with posture can be the connection between restoring motion and retraining the postural baseline to get patients out of pain, and helping everyone in our society to stand taller to keep moving well.
Learn more about Posture Month, and join the movement at PostureMonth.org.
Steven Weiniger, DC, authored Stand Taller Live Longer and teaches the advanced posture specialist certification, Certified Posture Exercise Professional (CPEP®), setting the clinical standard for posture improvement and rehab protocols with clinicians worldwide. In an initiative to promote posture awareness, he developed PostureZone, a free assessment app. His expertise is featured extensively in media including ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX News. Contact via PosturePractice.com, 866-443-8966, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
[i] Qaseem, Amir, Timothy J Wilt, Robert M McLean, and Mary Ann Forciea. “Noninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain: A Clinical Practice Guideline From the American College of PhysiciansNoninvasive Treatments for Acute, Subacute, and Chronic Low Back Pain.” Annals of Internal Medicine doi:10.7326/M16-2367.
[ii] Walker, Bruce F. “The New Chiropractic.” Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 24, no. 1 (2016): doi:10.1186/s12998-016-0108-9.