Some people slouch because they say they feel relaxed when they do it.
Do you think the same? If you do, then you are wrong.
Slouching probably causes more damage than you think. It creates tension and stresses your muscles and joints.
Over time it might cause you uncomfortableness and even pain.
Right now you might feel perfectly fine, you might even feel fine for the next 5-10 years or longer.
But at some point, you will feel the consequences.
Besides creating problems for your muscles and joints it also looks less attractive and it can make you appear smaller.
Finally, there seems to be a connection between your mental/emotional state and your posture, e.g. a slouching posture has the potential to make you less confident.
Before I get into this explanation of how slouching can cause chest pain, please know that you should always be careful of self-diagnosis.
How Can Slouching Cause Chest Pain?
When you are slouching, whether during sitting or standing, your spine and the muscles on your back, neck, and chest are affected and they are put under unnecessary strain.
The chest muscles tighten while the back muscles become weak. You might experience soreness in your muscles similar to if you have worked out.
This is one reason that might explain a slight pain in your chest.
The more you lean forward the more tension and strain is created. Where the serious complications start to occur is when your posture is actually compressing the lungs.
Obviously, it depends on the severity of your slouching posture, but this can affect your oxygen and carbon dioxide levels. You might experience a weird tingling sensation or pain in your chest as consequence.
Not having enough space for your lungs to easily provide sufficient oxygen is a big problem and can cause a cascading number of issues.
Your organs will suffer and especially your heart will have to work harder. Your blood pressure will rise putting unnecessary stress on your circulatory system. Over time this can make you prone to more heart-related issues.
This could be another reason why you experience chest pain.
You could potentially end up with less oxygen to your brain which makes you sleepy and reduces your ability to concentrate.
When Can You Experience Pain?
Chest pains are not something you will get after slouching for a little while.
We are probably talking about many years or even decades of poor posture.
One cool way to think about posture is that it is simply a reflection of the position you spend the most time in. Spend most of the time slouching and your body will readjust itself.
In the case of slouching, your spine can end up reshaping and adapting. Your spine could even make permanent changes.
Years of incorrect posture lead to what is called disc degeneration (discs in your spine) and can cause pain in the surrounding areas.
What Are The Other Effects Of Poor Posture?
Aside from chest pains, slouching can also cause neck and shoulder pain, digestive issues and breathing problems.
A slump position puts pressure on your stomach and lungs as also mentioned above.
You can take a look at your stomach when you slouch. Do you see a balloon-like compression of your abdomen?
Compare that to when you straighten up your back. Maybe you can even feel like the insides of your stomach suddenly have room again.
Actually, when you re-position your back, the internal organs really do have more space and have better conditions to do their job.
Can Slouching Lead To Depression?
Some resarch suggests that there could be a connection between poor posture and depression.
When you slouch, the tension in the body causes a release of cortisol which is a stress hormone.
As you might know, too much stress affects both your mood and your mental health.
Poor posture has also been shown to lead to lower self-confidence.
Personally, I don’t think that it only has something to do with like a “mind-body connection”, but also because whether be consciously or subconsciously we admire or find people more attractive if they stand tall with an upright position.
It really does affect how we perceive and interact with that person.
What Can Help Reduce Chest Pain From Slouching
Posture-related chest pains can be addressed by taking frequent breaks and avoiding prolonged sitting.
Simple stretching and strengthening exercises that retract the shoulders can be of great help to get you back in an upright posture and stand taller.
You could work out with some weights or you could do activities like yoga. I have done both and I can confirm that they both work.
Finally, there are also some useful products that can help correct your posture. I have written a buyers guide on these.
I think these products can be really useful to you, especially if you are experiencing chest pain.
Some people who bought either a posture brace or posture correcting shirt have said they got an immediate pain relief when putting them on.