How often do you think about your posture? It may not be at the top of your list of health priorities, but perhaps it should be. Whether you hold yourself upright and in a position where your body is in alignment can have a dramatic impact on every move that you make and the amount of pressure that you put on your spine. With four out of every five people in the United States experiencing back pain at some point in their lives, it makes sense to spend a little bit of time correcting any postural bad habits that you’ve developed, especially because slouching can end up leading to long-term pain and disability.
You may not think that posture is a pressing problem, but if you spend a little time thinking about it, you’ll realize that it is connected to numerous bodily functions. Because the spine contains the spinal cord, there are very few organs or sensations that you experience that don’t involve it in one way or another. If you are not holding your spine upright, you are inevitably putting unnatural pressure on some point, and this can eventually lead to health problems. At our lumbar spine practice in New Jersey, these are the most prevalent diagnoses related to poor posture.
• Subluxation – This is a condition that happens when a vertebra gets out of alignment with its natural position in the spine. Not only does it create instability, it can also lead to pain as a result of pressure being put on any nerves that the mispositioned vertebrae comes into contact with.
• Spinal curvature – The spine’s natural shape is not straight: it has four natural curves that have evolved to maximize strength and flexibility. Unfortunately, bad posture can create gradual changes in those curves that lead to weakness and stress on the spinal column.
• Spinal stenosis – Stenosis is a degenerative condition that can come from arthritic and aging or can result from poor posture. It is defined as a narrowing of the spinal canal that puts pressure on the nerves, as well as the spinal cord. The result is weakness, pain, and tingling or numbness that usually manifests itself in the arms or legs.
• Nerve or blood vessel constriction – When structures in the spine move out of position, they frequently put additional pressure on the nerves or blood vessels that surround them. This can result in pain, pinched nerves, and increased risk of blood clots from constriction of blood vessels.
To avoid these issues, it is important that you take the appropriate steps to correct any postural bad habits that you have fallen into. Evaluate the ergonomics of your workplace and make sure that you do core-strengthening exercises, as well as paying more attention to your body’s position. If you feel that you are slouching, put your shoulders back and align your skull over our shoulders and the rest of your body. To have an assessment of your posture or to address the chronic pain that has resulted from poor posture, contact our office today.