Unless you are a ballet dancer or in the military — occupations where poor posture is readily noticed — you probably don't pay much attention to your posture. But if parts of your body — such as the neck, shoulders or lower back — start to cry out in pain, you may find out that your posture is out of whack.
Posture refers to the preferred biomechanical alignment of the body, said Eric Robertson, director of graduate physical therapy education at Kaiser Permanente of Northern California and a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. Good posture is important because it minimizes the excessive force that muscles and joints need to absorb, he said.
Posture is more than just a function of the way someone stands or sits. For example, it also impacts how much pressure these positions place on the lower back and other muscles and joints. What's more, posture can be a reflection of a person's overall health, fitness, and the body's strength and weaknesses, Robertson told Live Science.
You know that bad posture doesn’t look all that great, but did you know that it can actually have a negative impact on your health? Well, you should listen to your chiropractor! Part of chiropractic philosophy is that the subluxations in your spine can impact your entire body. This is why chiropractic care in conjunction with your own mindfulness about your body and how you feel is vital, and here are some important reasons why.
Headaches and Jaw Pain
When your posture is poor you may spend a lot of time leaning forward and this makes it more likely that you are going to clench your jaw. When your jaw clenches it causes the muscles in your face to tighten and this can result in headaches and jaw pain. Not to mention if you clench your jaw a lot it can wear down your jaw joint, which can lead to even bigger problems.
Poor posture can actually impact how much air you can take into your lungs when you breathe. It makes perfect sense when you think about it that hunching forward or leaning can have a negative influence on your lung function. What is most disturbing about this side effect is that when your lungs aren’t functioning to their fullest potential then your heart and brain, as well as other vital organs, doesn’t get the oxygen they need. This can cause poor cognitive function and shortness of breath, or even worse heart and vascular disease!
Your intestines perform their own, very complicated, dance daily in order to move food through and get you the nutrition your body needs. If you have poor posture it can actually impact the movement of your intestines, so your gastrointestinal system may not function as well as it could.
Back and Shoulder Pain
This is one of the most obvious side effects of poor posture! The slouching involved with poor posture can lead to pain in tension in your shoulders and upper back and can even permanently lead to a hump! Of course, overcorrecting for your posture can have consequences as well. When you pull your shoulders too far back this can cause your muscles to tense and lead to stiffness.