Perils of Poor Posture

What are some of the dangers of not maintaining good posture?

Posture is all about how we hold our bodies. We usually don’t give it much thought: it simply becomes the default position for standing, walking, running, sitting or lying down. Most of us would do well to reboot that default because our current posture is not only pitiful but actually a threat to our health and longevity. Uncorrected, poor posture can lead to a wide range of conditions, from back and muscular pain to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Some of the dangers associated with poor posture are so common that they seem normal. Besides back pain, there are headaches, body aches and pains, muscle fatigue and even the appearance of a potbelly. Some of the prime standing and sitting contributors to these symptoms are:

  • Slouching while sitting in a chair
  • Sticking your bottom out, often caused by wearing high heels, carrying extra weight around the stomach and being pregnant
  • Standing with a flat back, which can push the neck and head forward, creating neck and upper back strain
  • Leaning on one leg, usually the same one, placing excessive pressure on one side of the lower back and hip
  • Hunched back and ‘text neck’, which is the downward position of the neck while looking at or texting on a mobile phone
  • Poking your chin, often caused by sitting too low, a computer screen set too high or a hunched back
  • Rounded shoulders
  • Cradling your phone between your ear and shoulder for extended periods of time, placing unnatural strain on the muscles of the neck, upper back and shoulders

As children, most of us were pestered about our posture, but that training seems to have only stuck for a few. The good news is that it’s rarely too late to make the adjustments necessary to hold the body properly upright, rather than allow it to slouch according to the dictates of gravity. Good posture can be implemented and maintained by paying attention and training the body to stand, walk, sit and lie in such a way that the least amount of strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments. This is especially important while moving and engaging in weight-bearing activities.

Benefits of Proper Posture

Most people do not realize just how much better they would feel if they kept their bodies in correct alignment. Some of those benefits include:

  • Bones and joints are kept in the correct alignment, which allows their corresponding muscles to function properly.
  • Joint surfaces experience less wear, resulting in less likelihood of developing arthritis.
  • Increases the health and strength of the spine due to less stress on the spinal ligaments.
  • Prevents the spinal column from becoming fixed in abnormal positions.
  • Allows muscles to be used efficiently and with less energy output, which results in less fatigue.
  • Proper alignment decreases or prevents strains and overuse issues.
  • Reduces or eliminates backache and muscular pain.
  • Presents a much better, healthier appearance.

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, our physicians are committed to more than just treating your symptoms. We strongly believe that each individual is best served through an integrative treatment plan. We focus on finding the underlying cause and providing non-surgical, evidenced based solutions tailored to your specific condition and needs. If you are experiencing back pain or have questions about posture-related issues or any of our treatment methods or services, we invite you to schedule a consultation by using our convenient online form by clicking here.