Most individuals have been told at least once in their lifetime to stand up straight or be mindful of their posture. Good posture is known to have an effect on how an individual is perceived (for example lazy or hardworking) and it aids in physical appearance.
But posture isn’t just about the way individuals look and bad posture can have a detrimental effect on health.
Being mindful of posture can increase physical function, while bad posture ushers in a wide range of adverse physical effects and aggravate pre-existing conditions.
Effects Poor Posture Has on Health
Here are a few of the effects poor posture has on health.
1. Development of Poor Circulation
One of the adverse effects of poor posture is the development of poor circulation, which is the result of impeded blood flow. Curving the spine and hunching the shoulders creates an obstruction to the natural blood flow pathways, causing it to slow and in some cases become blocked.
This decrease in circulation causes an increase in pressure in the veins throughout the body, but especially in the veins.
Poor circulation results in varicose veins, which are swollen veins in the legs that cause pain and discomfort. Poor circulation can typically be resolved through chiropractic treatment and increased focus on proper posture.
2. Increased Head and Neck Pain
Individuals with bad posture have increased head and neck pain. The body is equipped to carry the weight of the head on the neck, but when the neck is pushed or slumped forward, it increases the amount of pressure placed on the neck muscles and nerves resulting in headaches and neck pain.
Chronic bad posture can lead to damage of the neck muscles. It is important to understand that depending on how severe the damage to the neck muscles and nerves, pain may become chronic despite engaging in good posture techniques once damage occurs.
As such, it is important to be mindful of good posture before such damage occurs to avoid pain in the future.
3. Increases Risk of Blood Clots
Poor posture can change the way the spine is aligned, resulting in constriction of the blood vessels, vein blockage, and increasing the risk of blood clots.
When the blood cannot flow sufficiently it decreases the oxygen supply throughout the body turning the once free-flowing flood into a substance that is more solid in nature and difficult to flow.
Blood clots can be dangerous as they can result in deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, both of which are life-threatening if not treated promptly.
Spinal realignment and other chiropractic treatments may be beneficial in helping individuals regain proper posture and aid in the blood flowing properly throughout the body.
4. Aggravating Arthritis
Poor posture can have an impact on the joints, including aggravating cases of arthritis. When the body is consistently malaligned, it puts increased pressure on joints which are not accustomed or equipped to handle the stress.
The result is pain and inflammation in the joints carrying the extra load. Not only does poor posture aggravate existing arthritis it increases the risk of a patient developing osteoarthritis due to the increase in stress on the joints.
While good posture will not cure arthritis, it will aid in relieving many of the symptoms associated with the condition by reducing the stress placed on weight-bearing joints and redistributing pressure to other areas of the body.
5. Worsens Shoulder and Back Pain
Individuals with pre-existing pain may find poor posture worsens shoulder and back pain. The body is designed to carry its weight evenly distributed throughout the spine.
However, when the spine is curved due to poor posture, it puts extra pressure on other areas not equipped to carry the weight, resulting in pain and discomfort ranging from minor to severe. Often times this weight will be redistributed to the lower back and shoulders.
Many patients will find by focusing on proper posture and using chiropractic treatment to realign the spine, their back pain will greatly decrease and in some cases diminish altogether.