Can Improving Posture Improve Your Life?
You might have vivid memories of your mother or grandmother telling you to stand up straight and sit up straight as a child. If you thought they were just being critical, think again. Poor posture can lead to a slew of medical issues that can drastically affect your life, including chronic pain, headaches and even lung function. Fortunately, you can work to improve your posture, before grandma’s pet peeve gets the best of you.
Poor posture is prevalent, especially in modern times with computer and cell phone usage increasing day by day. A decade ago, injuries and health conditions caused by poor posture were most commonly seen in athletes, while now, the every-day office worker is the most common patient. So how exactly can poor posture affect your health?
Headaches & Migraines
Poor posture can cause you to lean forward, stressing the bones in your neck and eventually causing degeneration. Neck pain and associated stressors can cause headaches and even migraines if left uncorrected. The tension can even cause jaw pain which is commonly associated with headaches.
Back & Shoulder Pain
Poor posture while sitting and/or standing can lead to high amounts of tension in the shoulders, mid back and lower back. For some, especially bad posture can even cause a hump in the upper back. Muscles in the back are stressed by the improper positioning, and can cause pain and discomfort extending all the way down your spine, even leading to sciatica. Sciatica can lead to symptoms such as numbness and tingling down the leg.
Not only can poor posture affect you by causing pain, but it can actually affect the amount of air your lungs take in when breathing. The hunched positioning of the body decreases the amount of oxygen your lungs can breathe in, which can in turn affect the amount of oxygen the rest of your body is receiving. Oxygen intake is vital to proper functioning of the heart, brain and almost every organ in the body.
So what can you do about your posture? To start, we recommend scheduling a consultation with a physical therapist to assess your posture, especially if you are having any pain or discomfort. Our physical therapists at Sarrica Physical Therapy & Wellness Center can help you with stretches and exercises to drastically improve your posture, and straighten out your life.