Your mother may have constantly reminded you never to slouch when you were younger. It turns out that this advice may actually be wiser than any of us could have imagined. Good posture isn’t just about vanity. Emerging research shows us that good posture may be one of the most overlooked pieces of advice for good health! Posture can dramatically impact everything from back pain to digestive health. In fact, the link between posture and health is a world that’s worth exploring if you’re attempting to get to the bottom of health problems that don’t appear to have any obvious underlying causes. Take a look at the surprising ways that poor posture could be harming your health.
Back pain is the most obvious result of poor posture. Being constantly hunched over or slouched can cause pressure on the spine that leads to inflammation, misalignment and pain. The back is also at risk for disc degeneration stemming from chronic bad posture. This occurs when the cushioning in the discs positioned between vertebrae begins to disintegrate.
Back pain isn’t the only risk when bad posture is in play. Spine integrity can also be greatly impacted by poor posture. Habits like hunching the back, bending the neck or stooping the shoulders essentially reshape the spine away from its natural shape over time by distorting spinal curves in your neck, back and lower-back area. Changes in your spinal curves can have detrimental effects that echo throughout the body by manifesting as everything from pain to loss of mobility.
It’s probably not a shock to anyone that bad posture is linked with back pain and alignment issues. However, few people realize that the same posture that causes back pain can also cause very dangerous, long-term cardiovascular issues. That’s because improper posture can lead to constriction of the blood vessels. This is very serious because blood vessels that are constricted can ultimately lead to restricted nutrient and oxygen supplies. This places people at risk for potentially lethal complications like vein thrombosis and blood clots. In addition, people with bad posture are at risk for chronic cardiovascular issues.
The impact that poor posture has on blood flow isn’t restricted to effects that occur below the surface. The effect that bad posture has on your cardiovascular system can sometimes show up on your skin. We’re talking about varicose veins. Varicose veins are commonly caused by poor circulation and blood flow. Poor circulation can be especially damaging to the legs because veins in the legs have notoriously thin walls. Vanity isn’t the only reason to be concerned about varicose veins popping up. They can actually be quite painful and uncomfortable to live with.
Yes, it’s possible that common “tummy issues” are actually the result of poor posture. Unfortunately, not enough people are able to put the pieces together to get to the bottom of why they are experiencing pain, discomfort and bloating when poor posture is the culprit. How exactly is posture linked with gastrointestinal issues? Many people who have gastrointestinal issues stemming from bad posture spend long periods of time sitting at a desk. The pressure from the shoulders slouching downward toward the abdomen can compress key organs within the digestive system. Poor posture can actually “alter” or constrict the movement of food through your digestive system. This can dramatically alter the way you’re able to digest food and absorb nutrients. What’s more, it’s possible that posture can actually be linked to a sluggish metabolism because a restricted digestive cycle has the potential to slow down your body’s ability to process food.
It’s possible that respiratory symptoms like unexplained shortness of breath could actually be linked to bad posture. Hunching forward can reduce the amount of air that you’re able to take into your lungs with every breath. This can lead to things like shortness of breath or dizziness over time. What’s more, prolonged breathing issues stemming from this type of constriction can actually cut off oxygen to vital organs like the brain and heart!
Chronic Headaches and Jaw Pain
Could poor posture be the culprit behind punishing, debilitating headaches? It’s possible that some people suffering from tightness, tension and pain in the head and jaw could actually be experiencing the affects of bad posture. This mostly has to do with the fact that learning forward often triggers a response to clench one’s jaw. Many people who clench their jaws do so automatically without consciously noticing what they are doing. This is why “jaw clenchers” often don’t make the connection between the way they’re sitting and the pain they’re experiencing. Unfortunately, a clenched jaw causes the muscles in your face to tighten in a way that creates radiating pressure throughout the head, face and neck.
While it may seem hard to believe, sitting can actually make you exhausted if you’re doing it incorrectly. That’s because poor posture creates tension and compression in the wrong areas of your body. It simply requires more energy to sit in an improper position because your body is in a state of compensating for extra weight and compression instead of actually relaxing. Sitting correctly simply makes your body operate more efficiently and preserves energy!
Mental Health and Mood
A constant negative mood could be the result of poor posture. Researches have found that there is potentially a very strong connection between our posture and our emotions. One especially profound piece of evidence for this is the link between depression and slouching. What’s more, good posture has been shown to help people lift their moods, experience more positive emotions and feel less tired.
Help Your Health Stand a Little Taller With a Chiropractic Spinal Adjustment
What if changing your posture could be the secret to feeling stronger, happier and more energized? It’s not such a far-fetched idea when you dig in to look at the very strong links between posture and overall health! Unfortunately, fixing a long-term posture issue isn’t always as easy as just “standing straighter” from now on. Many people don’t actually know what proper posture looks or feels like. What’s more, many people are living with misalignment issues stemming from long-term bad posture that cannot simply be fixed by altering the way you sit or stand. It may be important to fix long-term posture issues through chiropractic adjustments. A spinal evaluation paired with a treatment plan that allows the body to heal naturally from the consequences of poor posture may help you to feel better, healthier and more energized!