How Important Is Good Posture?
There are a lot of myths about good posture. Most of us have heard an over-statement of the damages that temporary bad posture can cause. But it’s a fact that habitually poor posture can lead to a wide variety of ailments, so of which are quite serious. Things like constricted nerves, back pain, circulation problems, spinal alignment problems, poor lung performance, and many other maladies result from a habit of bad posture.
What can you do if you suffer from bad posture? The first thing you should consider is visiting a chiropractic physician. Not only can a chiropractor help you get relief from immediate symptoms of postural problems, but you’ll also learn long-term strategies for keeping you spine in proper alignment and in overall good health.
How Your Posture Affects Your Health
Did you know that your neck pain might be the result of nothing more than poor posture? Or that those “pinched nerves” that have been giving you so many sleepless nights could result from the way you stand, in other words, your posture? It’s true. Posture has such wide-ranging effects on the human body that you could spend hours just reading a list of the ill effects of poor posture on the human body.
Perhaps you’ve suffered from migraine or tension headaches. While there can be numerous causes of headaches, a common one is bad posture. The list goes on and on, but you get the idea. Posture is so important that it can lead to long-term, serious health conditions in otherwise healthy adults.
Here are a few of the conditions that postural problems can lead to:
- Misalignment of the SpineThe entire orientation of the human spine can be affected by your posture, for better or worse! In people who stand properly, they tend to notice a generalized feeling of balance in their bones and the entire skeletal system. However, people who use their bodies in ill-advised ways, like lifting and standing quickly or in dangerous ways, can often end up with a range of problems like sore muscles, spasms, and overall poor alignment of the spine. Once that happens, you have another set of problems to worry about because a misaligned spine can lead to its own set of problems.
- Digestive Difficulties People are often amazed at the fact that posture has a direct effect on digestion. But when you stop to think about it, the concept makes perfect sense. The body’s shape is designed to digest food. That is, when our posture is correct and not out of line. However, when we slouch or sit at our desks for long periods of time with our abdominal organs pushed down in an unnatural manner, it’s hard for our digestive system to operate at peak efficiency. It’s possible to develop serious digestive problems if you sit in a slouched position every day for several hours at a time. Getting a chiropractic adjustment and having the doctor show you how to sit can make a big difference in your digestive health.
- “Pinched” Nerves:
It’s possible that if you have seriously bad posture, your body might try to adapt, incorrectly, to this misalignment by shifting the position of your entire spine as well as other large bones. Obviously, this can mean major problems when those shifting bones rub against nerves. There can be other causes of so-called pinched nerves, but postural misalignment is one of them. The result: you might end up with pain all over your body, not just in the spots where the nerves are rubbing against raw bone.
- Lung Problems: Some long-term effects of poor posture can mean serious lung maladies as well as heard ailments and weakened cognitive performance. That’s because slouching excessively for hours each day, years at a time, can impair the proper function of your lungs, which need an erect spine to do their job.
Ever Hear This? “Stand Up Straight!”
Probably every adult heard those words as a child. Sometimes we remember that admonition and attempt to over-compensate for poor posture by pulling our shoulders far back, which can lead to its own set of problems. You see, correcting posture isn’t about being “straight,” in terms of the spine. Actually, our spines are not straight and never should be forced into being that way.
But when people try to “fix” their postural alignment by simply standing as straight as a rail, they put themselves in danger of making matters worse. Long ago, some adults who realized they had bad posture decided to sleep on very hard beds in order to straighten their spines by force. This old do-it-yourself approach is just as bad, perhaps worse, than trying to make yourself stand up straight.
No doubt, our parents and elders meant well when they told us to stand straight. The problem is, they weren’t trained physicians and didn’t realize that an “erect,” natural posture is not a straight one, by definition.
Our spines have several places where they are naturally curved. It’s how our bodies are constructed. If you try to force those areas to become straight, you’re in for some real problems. Where exactly are the parts of our spines that have natural curvature? The four main ones are:
- In the neck area
- In the lower back
- In the middle back
- In the upper back
If you look in an anatomy book, or simply ask your chiropractor to show you what a healthy spine looks like, you’ll notice all four of these natural areas of curvature. You’ll never see a healthy spine that is shaped like a metal pole, straight up-and-down. The human body needs these natural curves, in the right places, to function properly. Many times, when people have problems with their posture, it’s not a question of getting straighter but of having the right overall spinal shape.
Getting the Help You Need
Dr. Andrea Moses and Dr. Tim Ciolkosz at Spinal Health and Wellness know full well that improper posture can lead to multiple medical problems. That’s one of the reasons they offer every patient a full range of treatment options, including a full exam and diagnosis.
If you suffer from the ill effects of poor posture, or just want to find out how healthy your spine is, feel free to call our office with any questions that are on your mind. We’re always ready to bring new patients on, and are happy to hear from you. Our number is 302-993-9113. We look forward to hearing from you.