When you were a child, everyone – your parents, your teachers, even strangers, would tell you to stand up straight. Now that you are all grown up, when was the last time anyone told you to correct your posture? When was the last time you noticed it yourself?
Take a good look at how you stand and sit
Slouching can be responsible for several surprising health problems. According to an article in the American Journal of Pain Management, “Posture affects and moderates every physiological function from breathing to hormonal production.” Bad posture can result in headaches, back aches, ear infections, depression, constipation, and can cut off your circulation.
Depending on how your body has been strained, bad posture can be the cause of several unique problems.
Many people develop what could be called a “Humpback” from years of slouching in a chair, and staring at a computer screen, or television. Over time, this condition can constrict the muscles of the lower neck and upper ribs, putting people who have developed this condition at risk of chronic respiratory failure. This can also affect the muscles needed for speech and swallowing, where good posture of the esophagus and trachea are needed for these muscles to work properly.
When the spine is abnormally curved forward, it is often called “swayback” and has been shown to cause decreased lung, heart and cardiovascular function, because the inward curve of the spine can limit the role of diaphragm muscles. Also, according to Dr. John J. Regan, swayback may cause tingling, numbness, muscle spasm, and bladder and bowel changes.
“Flatback” syndrome is characterized by lower spine vertebral discs which are pushed outward, reducing the natural curve of the back, making it appear flat. This condition can cause low back, thigh and groin pain, and difficulty remaining upright for long periods of time.
People, who suffer from “military neck”, may have experienced whiplash in a motor vehicle accident. “Military neck” is a condition where the neck stands up straight or even bends backwards, instead of naturally curving forward. Symptoms of “military neck” may include difficulty remaining upright throughout the day.
What can you do to maintain good posture?
The American Chiropractic Association has provided these tips for achieving better posture:
- When standing, a person should balance most of their weight on the balls of their feet, with knees slightly bent and feet placed shoulder width apart. One should allow their arms to hang down naturally, while standing straight and tall with their shoulders pulled backwards and stomach tucked in, while the head should remain level (ear lobes in line with the shoulders).
- When sitting, keep your feet flat on the floor, no crossing of the legs, maintain a small gap between the back of the knees and the seat, relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground. Make sure to get up and move around occasionally.
Chronic poor posture, when left unaddressed, could be the culprit behind many health issues. If you experience poor posture you may want to look into chiropractic, which can help improve your posture, through chiropractic adjustments and simple exercise. Visit Dr. Fred at Atlas Chiropractic and call us today at 602-938-8868, or visit us online at www.atlaschiroprachticphoenix.com.
Learn more about how bad posture affects your health and happiness at www.prevention.com
Find more information about the effects of Swayback at healthy living
Or read spine universe’s faqs about flatback syndrome
Also read more about military neck at choose natural