A runner with great posture

At Long Island Spine Rehabilitation Medicine, though we treat serious spinal and musculoskeletal injuries and conditions, we find that too many of our patients are experiencing pain and restricted mobility due simply to poor posture. One of our jobs as physiatrists is to teach our patients to become more aware of their bodies and how they position them in order to maintain flexibility and optimal health.

It helps to understand that posture does much more than help you to look poised and attentive. By learning to keep your spine and the rest of your body in alignment, you give yourself the best chance of avoiding a number of health problems and even, according to some studies, increasing your lifespan.

Some of the Health Problems Prevented by Good Posture

If you are suffering from musculoskeletal pain or limited range of motion, contact our offices to have your specific problem diagnosed and treated without surgery. Our doctors have the well-honed skills and extensive experience to get you back on the path to healing through a number of traditional and complementary treatments. 

We will also provide you with customized physical therapy designed to meet your individual needs and to help you get into the habit of using good posture so you can avoid:  


Though headaches have a variety of causes, one type of headache, known as a cervicogenic headache, originates in the neck and may be caused or worsened by poor posture. This type of headache may be the result of patients staying in a position in which their heads are in front of their shoulders, placing increased strain on the joints and muscles of the upper neck. The pain that begins in the neck travels upwards, resulting in a headache.

If you frequently work at a computer, one way of preventing headaches. as well as neck pain and eye strain, is to make certain your screen is at the correct height. This is true for those who work at standing desks as well as those who work in a seated position.

Breathing Problems & Posture

It may seem a reach to connect poor posture with breathing problems, but slouching compresses the chest region, preventing the diaphragm from fully opening. By correcting your posture, you place the diaphragm back in an optimal position for easy breathing. Good posture assists in controlling not only breathing but the volume and resonance of your voice.

Pelvic Pain

Poor posture can affect the lumbar spine and the pelvic area as well. Patients with poor posture may develop pelvic floor dysfunction that can result in:

  • Urinary retention
  • Constipation
  • Pain during intercourse for women
  • Erectile dysfunction in men

Joint Pain

Sitting or standing with poor posture can contribute to pain in your joints. Muscle imbalances are caused by slouching, crossing your knees, sitting without back support, or standing for long periods. The hips, knees, and ankles can all be negatively impacted by poor posture. Once they become inflamed, this can lead to joint pain, lack of stability, and a tendency to injury.

Digestive Problems

Though we typically associate digestive problems with our intake of food, poor posture can be a factor in digestive problems, such as acid reflux, heartburn, and gas. When your body stays in a slouched position, your intestinal organs are compressed, making it more difficult for you to digest food. This is one of the reasons it is important to move around during the day, especially if your routine involves sitting or standing for long periods.

Thoracic Outlet Syndrome

When you keep your head forward and your shoulders slouched, you may be restricting the conduction of your nerves and the circulation of the blood vessels in your lower neck, upper chest, and arms. The result may be shoulder, neck, arm, or hand pain, and tingling or numbness in the hands and fingers. Though some of our patients develop thoracic outlet syndrome after an accident or due to repetitive injury, some are plagued by this problem due to postural defects. It is worth noting that the longer this problem remains untreated, the more serious it may become, possibly resulting in swelling or blood clots.


Poor posture has now been determined to be a contributing factor to inflammation and the development of arthritis. We are fortunate that this particular factor can be altered, which is why you should take steps to improve your posture while you still can. Once joint deterioration has occurred and arthritis has set in, improving posture may not be possible or helpful.

Fatigue and Difficulty Sleeping & Posture

Because poor posture makes movement less efficient, you have to exert more effort to accomplish the same tasks. This is why a great many people with poor posture are chronically fatigued. Sadly, the same poor posture that creates a loss of energy can result in misalignment of the spine and chronic pain, both of which make getting into a comfortable sleeping position more troublesome.

Emotional Consequences

Unfortunately, the stress caused by poor posture is not just physical. There are often emotional consequences as well. When we carry our bodies like a burden and cause ourselves pain, it wears us down. We may become depressed and are more likely to be perceived and to perceive ourselves as less attractive, less successful, and less worthy. Though poor posture sometimes starts with a poor self-image, the habit can be self-perpetuating. 

That’s why it is crucial to address issues of self-worth and improve posture simultaneously. Just as slouching can be caused by a lack of confidence, improving your posture can make you feel self-assured and increasingly comfortable in your own skin.

Contact Our Experienced Physiatrists Today 

Get a jump on improving your posture. We look forward to helping you resolve any pain or dysfunction issues and get you back into your best shape. Contact us now so you can stand tall, even when you are seated.