Do you have good posture? Do you have poor posture? Most of us agree that there is always room for improvement when it comes to our (or our children’s) posture. But why is it so important and what are the long-term effects of poor posture on our health and wellbeing if we choose not to make it a focus of our attention?
The Chiropractors Association of Australia and the International Chiropractors Association, suggest that ongoing poor posture can lead to an array of health concerns beginning with musculoskeletal tension, soreness, headaches, back pain and fatigue and progressing to compression of the internal organs, potentially reducing their efficiency and normal function. This may manifest as respiratory problems (decreasing breathing capacity by up to 30%), chest tightness, increased blood pressure and poor digestion. Poor posture can also have a significant effect on mood and self esteem. (www.whatsyourposture.com.au/posture-health). (www.chiropractic.org/central-role-of-posture).
Both manual and office workplaces are not exempt from the stresses that they place on our bodies. Manual occupations with a lot of repeated pushing/pulling of heavy weights or kneeling postures were most commonly associated with the onset of chronic widespread pain syndromes such as fibromyalgia.1 Desk and car jobs can cause rounded shoulders and a forward position of the head in relation to the shoulders (forward head carriage). Forward head carriage is listed by Spine-Health.com as the most common contributor to neck pain resulting in spasms and triggerpoints in the muscles and degeneration and arthritis in the joints. (www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/how-poor-posture-causes-neck-pain ). 2 It will be interesting as more research comes to light how much earlier these conditions will appear in younger generations as they spend increasingly more time in fixed positions with forward head carriage.
We know that regular breaks from these postures is important. But how does this help? When we maintain postures that are not ideal, it is difficult for nourishment to flow in and out of the discs between our vertebrae and increased and awkward pressures may compress the discs in ways that they may not be able to bounce back from.2 Thus, getting up and moving around every now and then will “get the juices flowing again”. That is, if your vertebrae are free to move through their normal ranges of movement. However, sometimes these sustained poor postures (or other causes) result in an inability of some of the vertebrae not to move properly even when you do get up and have a break and move around, and so many of these issues may perpetuate despite your best efforts.
If you (or your loved ones) are having trouble achieving and maintaining good posture when sitting, lying or standing then make an appointment to see one of the highly trained chiropractors and Catalyst Chiropractic and we can help to get you back on track again.
by Dr Kristie Lane
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