Everyone has heard in some point in their life that good posture is very important for us. But not everybody knows why it is important and how to achieve it. At Total Health Systems of Macomb County we recognize importance of patient education. We make sure that patients understand the reason behind their problems and ways they can prevent dysfunction in the future. Good posture is one of the main topics that we address with them.
Faulty posture is causing inefficient use of the body and makes parts of it work harder than they need. In effect, muscles get strained and inflamed and chronic muscle tension can develop that results in feelings of discomfort and pain. A perfect example of this is forward head posture, where the head is translated to the front instead of being balanced on cervical spine. That results in excessive work of muscles in back of the neck and if it last for long period of time chronic tension can develop.
Many headaches are caused by tightness and trigger points in the muscles. Elevated shoulders can activate trigger points in trapezius muscles that can result in headache in back of the head and temple. Also, forward head posture can cause excessive tension in sub occipital area, resulting in nerve and blood vessel compression that in effect can results in headaches.
Unfortunately, we were not created to sit for 8 hours straight like many modern jobs requires from us. The main problem with sitting is reduced lumbar lordosis. During prolonged sitting, with a reversed “c” shaped curve in lumbar spine, the body of the disc (gel like substance) is pushed backward. With time it can result in disc bulging or herniation and consequently lead to condition like sciatica.
Overuse in parts of musculoskeletal system that accompanies faulty posture can cause cartilage deterioration in joints and develop condition called osteoarthritis. The situation can be magnified when we do repetitive movements and also get worse with age, since we have more time to irritate tissue. Over time you are able to see deformation of joints and stiffness accompanied by pain can set in.
Internal organ dysfunction.
A collapsed chest as a result of hunching will cause compression of all internal organs. Lungs will respond to that with decreased capacity to breath. The digestive system will be compromised and can result in acid reflex (GERD) or constipation. Increased pressure on front of the neck can result in high blood pressure.
Another important aspect of bad posture is that creates unattractive look that can generate low self-esteem. On the other hand low self-esteem can create hunched over posture since person doesn’t want to be well seen. In effect, the level of stress can increase. That can create vicious cycle by increasing muscle tension and decreasing the quality of posture.
By understand poor posture and its effects, a patient is better able to make the corrections needed to lead a healthier life. At Total Health Systems of Macomb County, it is our goal to educate you and give you the tools you need to make those improvements.