4 Awful Side Effects of Having Bad Posture
What Are Some Signs of Bad Posture?
We can spot bad posture whenever we see it. It’s not a good look. And we tend to think of bad posture as something you either have or don’t have — as if it doesn’t matter one way or another. But posture should not be considered in such a casual way, especially sloppy posture which can lead to consequences that seriously impact our health and well-being. So if you have poor posture, please consider seeking professional help as soon as you can.
There’s a kind of domino effect to skeletal ailments. For example, those with poor posture lean forward a lot. This forward head posture raises the chances of the jaw becoming clenched. This, in turn, results in a tightening of the facial musculature, leading to headaches and discomfort in the jaw. Worst of all, repeatedly clenching the jaw can gradually erode the jaw joints themselves, causing even bigger problems.
The bones of the body and the muscles that connect them form an integrated and highly complex system that evolution has provided to give us mastery over our movements. The range of movements of which the human body is capable is truly awesome. This marvelous interconnection of bodily systems explains why when one part of one system goes wrong, other parts of interconnected systems may be negatively affected too.
As an illustration of this interconnectivity, hunching forward physically restricts the volume of air your lungs can inhale. The knock-on effect of this is that if your lungs aren’t taking in enough life-giving oxygen, your brain and heart and all your other organs may be deprived of adequate oxygen too. Hypoxia — the fancy word for the ineffective delivery of oxygen to the tissues can even impair cognitive function and cause shortness of breath, not to mention heart and vascular disease! And all this trouble from the physical restriction caused by chronic hunching of the shoulders.
Your intestines move food through your body by means of a wave-like muscle motion called peristalsis. This motion is vital for the proper functioning of your guts — in fact, without it, your food wouldn’t travel through your body at all. Poor posture may interfere with peristalsis, ultimately impacting the quality of nutrition your body achieves. This means that your body may get less of the nutrients it needs from the food you ingest.
Slouching can lead to pain and tension in the shoulders and upper back and can even permanently lead to a hump! Simply pulling back the shoulders won’t be enough to alleviate this pain. Overcorrection of posture causes as many problems, including tension and stiffness when shoulders are pulled back too far.
We’d advise you not to put up with this sort of pain. Talk to a chiropractor at the earliest opportunity if your posture is causing you discomfort. They possess the skills to diagnose such conditions and they can recommend a number of stretches and exercises to help.
Do as I say, not as I do!
Childhood is full of posture advice from adults: Shoulders back! Lift your head! Turn your foot in! Straighten up! and so on. As children, we didn’t like these instructions because we didn’t see the point of following them. But, as adults, we should be glad we were made to follow them! Because the roots of bad posture can often be traced back to childhood. Gradually, over many years, it can compromise the spine, causing it to function sub-optimally.
Reasons Why Slouching is bad for you
There’s no upside to slouching. But just to hammer home the point here’s a selection of the outcomes from bad posture.
1. It affects the nerves
Small changes in the position of spinal bones over time can result in the skeleton coming into undesirable contact with nerves, pinching them. This, in turn, can cause local as well as referred pain.
2. Poor digestion
Slouching is endemic in desk jobs, but whatever your job, try to keep your back straight. The very act of slouching compresses the abdomen and its organs, including your intestines. If this results in a chronic condition, it can affect your metabolism and lower the effectiveness off your body’s ability to process food.
3. Cardiovascular Disease
Bad posture which causes misalignment of the spine may also constrict blood vessels, restricting your body’s ability to move nutrients and oxygen around. This can lead to blood clots or even deep vein thrombosis. All of which can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease if untreated.
4. Back Pain
Millions of days are lost in productivity every year as a consequence of lower back pain caused in part by bad posture. This is a connection commonly understood. This type of pain originates at times through disk degeneration as disks separating vertebrae thin and lose their ability to act as skeletal shock absorbers.
Chiropractors say that spinal misalignment affects the integrity of the whole spine resulting in what are known as subluxations which stress the spine and irritate spinal nerves.
If this all sounds rather gloomy, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Although correcting poor posture, or treating the effects of bad posture, can become more difficult as we age, it’s never too late to seek and get effective treatment. In fact, the best course of action is to find a specialist such as a chiropractor as soon as difficulties arise because early intervention will always prove better than trying to cure an existing and perhaps, by the time of diagnosis, chronic condition.
Finally, we’d just like to say that we hope we haven’t scared you with horror stories about what can result from bad posture. By making small informed choices you can greatly improve an existing condition and you may very well even prevent longer term damage before it happens.
Hey there, I'm Josh!
But you probably guessed that. I'm here to help provide you with the knowledge and understanding of your posture so that you can improve your way of life and live more comfortably. Without all the aches and pains that life throws our way.