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Bad posture will affect spine badly

Gulf News

Slouching at the dinner table or at a computer is a bad habit which many children have, but this can also be a symptom of serious spine problems, a local specialist warned while speaking on 'correct posture month'.

The Abu Dhabi Chiropractic Specialty Clinic has just concluded correct posture month, sponsored by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).

It aimed at raising awareness among parents and giving them suggestions on how to alleviate problems caused by poor posture in children.

Dr Devin Burnikel of Chiropractic Speciality Clinics in Abu Dhabi, said: "For years parents have told their children to 'stand up straight' without really knowing why it is so important.

While standing up straight seems like an obvious way of correcting poor posture, there are so many activities that make up a child's daily routine that can have an impact on their spinal health.

"Specialists can suggest and give parents tips to help encourage their children with correct posture around the clock."

On this occasion chiropractors of the clinic met the parents and examined their children.

He said: "All children have the habit of bending on dinner tables. They spend hours hunched over a computer keyboard surfing the Internet, or carry heavy backpacks over their shoulders. Slouching can be a bad habit or a warning signal, the source of future spinal problems."

Dr Burnikel said there are some simple suggestions to be followed by parents for their children to have healthy spines.

For example, he said, when lifting a baby, always support his neck and back with your hands, or pick up an older child by grasping his body under both arms.

Also one must use an approved car seat that supports the baby's neck and back or make sure the child's safety seat is appropriate for his or her age and size. A newborn infant requires a different seat from a three-year-old.

Dr Burnikel said as they learn to walk and run, children fall and can suffer strains and sprains. Periodic check ups by the chiropractic doctor can identify such problems and detect developing weakness in a child's spine.

The chiropractor is trained to diagnose any abnormal curvature or loss of flexibility in the spine, joints and bones which do not move properly.

He can treat it with natural methods without using drugs or surgery. He can recommend adjusting the spine, a gentle treatment that helps free the child's body to operate at peak efficiency.

He said children should be educated that wrong posture can create serious problems for them in future, which can be taken care of only through expensive surger.

Parents and teachers in schools perhaps can teach children about related spinal problems.