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The Benefits of Having and Maintaining Good Posture

The Benefits of Having and Maintaining Good Posture

Our posture is the backbone of our entire body, literally. Having poor posture can cause numerous problems and pain. Common sites of pain include your back, neck, jaw, and shoulders. If your shoulders tend to fall forward, not only can this cause an excess kyphotic curvature of your spine (your upper back arching excessively), over time this can also cause laxity in the back muscles and tightness in the shoulder and pec muscles. Muscle imbalances can predispose you to injuries and chronic pain. With forward shoulders, you most likely also have a forward head posture. This also causes muscle imbalances if not corrected, and can lead to neck pain from muscle strain and tension headaches. And these are only some of the things that can happen! 

Here are some of the negative consequences that can come from having poor posture:

  • Back pain
  • Jaw pain - TMJ syndrome - can cause improper bite pattern
  • Shoulder and back pain - your rotator cuff tendons press on coracoacromial arch of shoulder blade - shortening and contracting the lumbar muscles
  • Headaches 
  • Spinal dysfunction
  • Joint degeneration
  • Rounded shoulders 
  • Appearance of pot belly and thicker middle
  • Disrupted digestion
  • Lack of motivation
  • Heartburn
  • Incontinence
  • Exacerbation of arthritis (malalignment of spine and knees increases knee stress - worsens arthritis in knees)
  • Poor circulation - sitting all day in a chair prevents proper circulation and can lead to varicose veins
  • Fatigue (we add tension and compression to structures not designed to bear that weight; poor posture and gait require more energy - proper posture is energy efficient)
  • Can negatively affect your mood 
  • Forward head posture (can tighten some muscles and weaken others = neck pain from muscle strain and tension headaches)
  • Breathing efficacy (need full oxygen to rejuvenate cells and muscles)
  • Constricted nerves
  • Spinal curvature
  • Create muscle imbalances in the body
  • Interfere with your balance, increasing your risk of falling

Here are some of the benefits to having and maintaining good posture:

  • Higher self esteem / increased self confidence
  • Higher level of alertness
  • Better mood
  • Can decrease self-focus (in people with mild to moderate depression)
  • Less fear (in public speaking studies)
  • Reduced low back pain
  • Fewer headaches
  • Increased energy levels
  • Less tension in shoulders and neck
  • Decreased risk of abnormal wearing of joint surfaces
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Improved circulation and digestion
  • Reduced TMJ (jaw) pain
  • Improved core and scapular strength
  • Better form for workouts - less likely to get injures
  • Appear taller
  • Look skinnier (lengthening frame distributes pounds)
  • Greater function as you age
  • Improved concentration
  • Ensures muscles are being used effectively and efficiently
  • Decreases stress on the spinal ligaments
  • Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in an abnormal position
  • Prevents muscle fatigue
  • Minimizes the risk of sprain and strain injuries
  • Minimizes the risk of back pain.
  • Promotes a good appearance 
  • Good first impression

I know it’s hard to get back into maintaining good posture, so here are some tips to improve it:

  • Regular exercise and stretching - focus on balance, and stretching and strengthening core muscles!
  • Ergonomic furniture 
  • Paying attention to the way your body feels.
  • Being mindful of posture throughout the day - especially at computer or TB
  • Maintain healthy weight
  • Ensuring you have an ergonomically friendly workstation

A good place to start is with your sitting posture, as that’s where most of us have the worst posture. Backless stools or chairs with proper back support are a good way to consciously think about changing your posture. 

Do you have chronic back pain, and correcting your posture isn’t helping? Book an appointment online now!