Posture pictures are being used more frequently by chiropractors as a tool to engage parents and show changes and improvement to posture under chiropractic care. So what does a posture picture actually tell us, other than the obvious? In this video I discuss three things that using posture pictures can highlight and how they relate to care.
Posture pictures are great tools to use in practice. People relate to photos. They use photos everyday but rarely do they take a photo from the front or back and from the side to check posture. It can be a real eye opener to see what you look like to other people. What’s even more eye opening is that if you have a child with very poor posture but you never noticed before. Parents find this really interesting and in some cases horrifying that they didn’t notice beforehand.
Posture pictures are fantastic at allowing us to look at a child’s posture. We can see their shoulder, hip and ear alignment from the front, and ankle, hip, shoulder and ear alignment from the side.
They can easily show parents if their child is balanced overall or not. This can be a large motivating tool to starting chiropractic care as they now see there is an issue that they perhaps weren’t aware of and want to see that improve over time.
Posture pictures can also give you information about that child’s body that perhaps you weren’t aware of.
If they are old enough I will always take posture pictures with a child’s eyes closed. This allows me to look at a few things
1. The first is how much miscommunication is there between brain and body – the chronicity of the problems. If a child’s posture alters with eyes open to eyes closed, you know there is a disconnect happening at neurological feedback level. The child doesn’t know where his or her body is in space. Their pro-prioception is off and they compensate for it when they have their eyes open.
2. Change can look bad. I’ve recently had a few kids coming in who have been adjusted since birth, monthly or sometimes less. After an examination with me, I determined that they needed to be adjusted more frequently, as monthly wasn’t keeping them in check as well as their parents would want. The posture pics weren’t too bad at the time for their first review with me.
I recently completed their re-examination and although all their scores and concerning areas in their exam were a lot better and many concerns have since resolved, their posture pictures looked worse when compared to before. So what did I say to the families? – Simply that change is a process, function is what matters most and it will see their posture pictures improve over time. What’s most important is that their spine and nervous system function tests are scoring much better.
3. Finally posture pictures can show trends not absolutes. I took a posture picture of a child while they were unwell and really run down, and then two days later when they were back on top of things. The difference between these postures was incredible. Did my adjustment change this child’s posture that much? Of course it had an impact, but their posture did improve once they were feeling better too. So understanding trends seen in posture pictures related to current health status is extremely important too. You may be looking at posture pictures with a lot more history than you think. So even though they are a great tool, they can prove to be less reliable in some cases.
Posture pictures are incredible tools to use in practice. They can measure, evaluate and demonstrate starting points, improvement and trends. They can also be an education tool, showing parents how dynamic the body is and that there are never absolutes.
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Until next week, I’m Dr Jacey Pryjma from Well Kids with the Advice Chiropractors Need When Working With Kids’ See you then.