Did you grow up with your mom telling you constantly sit up straight and not hunch over? As annoying and frustrating as it may have bee, mom was right. Sitting tall and straight doesn’t just look better but it keeps your body and spine healthy and strong as well as you grow and age.
Most of us are so used to sitting with a rounded back, leaning forward, hunching shoulders, or sitting with our shoulders or neck in an awkward position. It becomes normal and you often do not even realize you are doing it, which is when things become a real issue.
Furthermore, bad posture won’t just hurt your back, but the side effects of not correcting your posture can range from mild to quite severe.
In this post, we will take a look at some of the top ways that not fixing your posture can lead to a wide variety of unpleasant side effects you are most definitely not going to want to deal with. Plus, we will give you a few suggestions for things you can do to help correct your posture right away.
When you have bad posture, it can lead to strain in your back an in your neck. This strain is one of the leading causes of headaches and they tend to be challenging to get rid of. When you are looking down for a big chunk of the day and are constantly hunching over, lots of strain is being put on the neck and shoulder muscles from your head drooping forward. This tension then leads to headaches.
Lower Back Pain
Bad posture does not just affect your neck and your shoulders, it affects the lower back as well – sometimes the most in many people.
When you are hunching and slouching, much of the time your lower back is also developing a curve in the spine. This constant curvature can generate pressure in the area, and this can lead to uncomfortable back pain and lower backaches.
Although you may think that bad posture and constipation do not go hand in hand, the exact opposite is true, they are very much connected. When you have bad posture all of the organs in your body are out of alignment and your internal organs are not able to function properly.
One of those organs is your intestines and bad posture can affect the way food is able to move through your intestines and digest.
When you have poor posture during the day you likely have poor posture during the night as well. When you do not have the proper body alignment at night your body is never able to relax fully, which leads to a fitful night’s sleep.
Of course, this creates fatigue during the day. But poor posture can make you feel even more tired during the day, believe it or not. Your body has to work harder to keep you upright when you are sitting and standing. Your body has to use more energy to support your body when you are slouching compared to when it is sitting straight and is properly aligned – hence greater fatigue during the day.
Simple Tips for Correcting Your Posture
Don’t hunch your shoulders forward. This often happens when we are sitting down for long periods of time like at work, watching TV on the couch, and while driving. Become aware of the hunch and then make sure your shoulders are away from your ears and your shoulders are down and back.
You can pretend like you are slightly trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together to ensure your shoulders and your shoulder blades are in the right position.
Make sure you have a tall spine but aren’t overly stiff. When you are sitting and standing you want to make sure you are sitting tall and that your spine is straight, but you do not want to over-correct so much that your spine and back are super tense and rigid.
Sit or stand just tall enough so your lower back is not rounded, and you feel you are tall as possible. Then stop. Do not try to extend beyond that point. It should feel comfortable but not like you are tapped to a straight wood board.
Don’t adjust your neck and chin out too far in front of you. This is a common mistake that many people make with their posture, especially when they are sitting at a desk at work for most of the day. When you are not in tune with your body, you tend to stick your neck out and protrude your chin too far past your chest.
Your upper spine is completely out of alignment at this point and it can create a lot of upper back and neck pain.
Try seeing a chiropractor or massage therapist if nothing else is working. While simple fixes often times work wonders for most people, sometimes others just need a little extra help. If you have had bad posture for many years, the habit can be hard to break and often your body needs a little more TLC than normal, which is where seeing a chiropractor can come in handy. A chiropractor can align your spine properly again and work out any issues you may be experiencing in the area. Chiropractic adjustments can help correct poor posture effectively and efficiently.
If you want to try something else, another fantastic option is to go for massage therapy. It is a bit less intimidating for many people but can work out any kinks, pain, and knots you have in your back, shoulders, and neck, which can help you sit taller and feel better overall. Many chiropractic offices also have massage therapists and offer free massage therapy like in my chiropractic clinic in Juneau.
In the end, there are many side effects of bad posture and in order to avoid them and further complications. Taking little steps to help your posture by sitting taller, not hunching, or seeing a professional can do wonders for your body.