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Posted on 10-22-2013


Good Morning!

This study from the Journal of Gerontology in May 2013 found that hump at the base of you neck or in your back can have horrible effects on your health.  This is something Chiropractors have been saying for years and the research community is finally catching up!


1) These authors noninvasively measured 4 spinal postures in a community- based prospective cohort of older adults (804 participants: 338 men, 466 women, age range 65–94 years) to determine if any such postures were associated with the need for future assistance in Activities of Daily Living (ADL):

  • Thoracic curvature (T1-T12)

  • Lumbar curvature (T12-S1)

  • Sacral hip angle (the angle between a straight line from S1 to S3 [top of the

    anal crease] and true vertical)

  • Inclination angle between the vertical and a line joining C7 to the sacrum

2) “Accumulated evidence shows how important spinal posture is for aged populations in maintaining independence in everyday life.”

3) Inclination angle (between the vertical and a line joining C7 to the sacrum) was strongly associated with future need of assistance with ADL outcome. “This study indicates that spinal inclination is associated with future dependence in ADL among older adults.”

4) When the inclination angle (between the vertical and a line joining C7 to the sacrum) was categorized into the best to worst quartiles, the increased risk of need for assistance with ADL occurred as follows:

Best v. second: Best v. third: Best v. fourth:

46% increased risk of need for ADL assistance 290% increased risk of need for ADL assistance 393% increased risk of need for ADL assistance

5) These authors evaluated four parameters of spinal posture (thoracic curvature, lumbar curvature, sacral hip angle, and inclination) in older adults and after 4.5 years of follow-up, “inclination has the greatest effect on dependence in ADL.” This association was independent of back pain and bone mineral density.

6) “Spinal posture changes with age, but accumulated evidence shows that continued good spinal posture is important in allowing the aged to maintain independent lives.”

7) In this study, postural measurements were made noninvasively with a computer-assisted portable device placed on the skin (called the Spinal Mouse). Sagittal curves of the thoracic and lumbar spines, sacral hip angle, and inclination between the vertical and a line joining C7 to the sacrum were examined.

8) Lumbar lordosis decreased and inclination increased with age in both men and women.

9) “Many reports have indicated that posture of the trunk in the sagittal plane is associated with body function and dependence in ADL.”

10) Larger anterior inclination of the trunk causes a greater decline in balance and gait skills. “Declines in balance and gait skills caused by inclination lead to falls and fractures, and that these negative outcomes in turn lead to dependence in ADL among elderly people.”

11) “Women with osteoporosis and hyperkyphosis have weaker back extensor strength, weaker lower extremity strength, slower gait, poorer balance, and greater body sway, which as a result gives them a propensity to fall.”

12) “The gravity line moves further anterior as inclination of the trunk increases.” “Even mildly positive sagittal balance is somewhat detrimental, the decline in health status increases in a linear fashion with progressive sagittal imbalance.”

13) “Changes in spinal posture can influence the alignment of the legs: burdens requiring more than the normal compensatory reactions can lead to joint diseases such as osteoarthritis, which in turn lead to declines in ADL.”

14) “When sagittal unbalance is detected with Spinal Mouse method, we recommend full x-ray investigation for evaluating spine and pelvis.” This is because the Spinal Mouse is not a reliable tool for measuring intersegmental spinal range of motion and “does not measure spinopelvic alignment.”

15) Spinal “inclination is associated with future dependence in ADL among older adults and warrants wider attention.”

16) The “results indicate that attention needs to be paid to inclination in spinal posture to identify elderly people at high risk of becoming dependent in ADL.” [Key Point]


This article adds to the evidence that sagittal (SIDE VIEW) posture is very important in human physiology, pain, health, and predictive of the ability for one to take care of themselves as they age (ADL). The most egregious postural distortion is an forward inclination, whether measured by inclination angle (as done in this study) or anterior plumb line. This and other articles associate forward posture with a loss of lumbar lordosis, which would appear to be a site of therapeutic intervention. A number of chiropractic techniques (including those used here at WellnessOne) are primarily concerned with assessing, preventing, and changing these (and other) postural distortions. 

It's your there healthy with WellnessOne!  Have a blessed day!

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