Sit Up: Your Posture Matters

According to the Cleveland Clinic, around 80% of people deal with back pain at some point in their lives. At least some of those aches and pains could be alleviated with better posture.

As specialists in functional medicine, Neil Spiegel, DO and physician assistant Jennifer Gularson, the expert providers at Osteopathic Center for Healing, know that your day-to-day habits dictate your health. Nutrition, exercise, and other lifestyle habits all matter when it comes to your health, and that includes your posture. 

We can help with services such as osteopathic manipulation and acupuncture, but developing the habit of good posture is one of the best ways to protect your functional health. 

Here are few of the ways poor posture can impact your health. 

Achy back

Poor posture, both sitting and standing, contributes to low back pain. If you sit on your sofa slouched down, you’re flattening the curve in your lower back, and sitting on your tailbone, rather than your sitting bones. Over time, the flattening of your lumbar curve can cause a nagging pain. 

It happens places other than the sofa, as well. Many people have poor habits while sitting at a desk. Poor ergonomics in office settings are responsible for a great many backaches.

Lack of efficiency

When your posture is poor, the tiny muscles along your spine are either working harder than they should be, or they’re not working hard enough and getting weaker. Poor posture leads to muscular inefficiency. Over time, it becomes more difficult to practice good posture because of these muscular imbalances. 

Headaches

Poor posture can cause you to hold tension in some of your muscles. For example, if you’re slouching, your shoulders may be hunched up toward your ears. When muscles are unnaturally tensed over time, they can cause tension headaches. 

Low energy

Even though you may not feel like you’ve been doing extra work when you slump at your desk, you're sapping your own energy levels and creating fatigue. When you improve the efficiency of the muscles in your spine, you’re likely to notice improved energy levels. 

Future joint problems

Do you stand with your weight on one foot, with one hip jutting out? While that posture may not have much impact in the short term, over time, the hip bearing more of your weight may wear differently than the other hip, leading to issues with mobility and flexibility. 

Bad balance

Another issue that you may begin to notice if you habitually have poor posture is that you also have poor balance. Because the muscles along your spine are not working efficiently, they’re not as strong as they need to be to help you maintain good balance. Also, if you have excess strain on one side or the other, your balance may be further compromised. 

Get help with your posture

If you’re unsure about what good posture looks like when you’re standing or sitting, we can help. We can also help you understand how the habits you don’t even notice affect your health. Even if your posture is quite poor, it’s entirely possible to improve it with some dedication. 

We can analyze your posture and give you tips to improve it. You may need to do some exercises to help strengthen any weakened muscles, and we can build an exercise plan for you. To stand and sit properly for a healthy spine, schedule your appointment at Osteopathic Center for Healing today.

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