Three words we have likely all heard before? “Stand up straight.” Whether we realize it or not, many of us slouch more than we should to maintain a healthy spine. There are several negative effects that poor posture can have on our bodies; luckily, physical therapy can help ease much of this pain and discomfort. We outline six consequences and how we can help.

Spine Curvature

The three main curves of a properly aligned spine form an ‘S’ shape. Over time, poor posture can cause these natural curves to change shape, putting an excessive amount of pressure in the wrong position. Our spines are built to absorb shock, but bad posture can slowly deteriorate this natural ability, putting your body at risk for more serious injury in the future.

Back Pain

One of the most commonly known side effects of poor posture is unwanted strain on your upper and lower back. Slouching forward puts pressure between your shoulder blades and causes you to flatten your back muscles. If you notice pain below the neck and around your tailbone after a long day at work, you are likely not sitting up straight.

Neck Pain & Headaches

Poor posture puts pressure on your posterior muscles, which has a negative impact on your neck. Whether your shoulders are hunched forward or your head is aimed downward, the strain put on your neck by the tightness of these muscles can lead to tension headaches.

Poor Sleep

Deficient posture can put your entire system of muscles in a compromising position. If you are unable to fully relax your body at night, you may find yourself tossing and turning to find a comfortable position for your neck and back, which can lead to hours of lost sleep.

Disrupted Digestion

If you have an office job that requires you to stay at a desk most of the day, sitting with bad posture can lead to digestive issues. Neglecting to pay attention to your posture can compress your organs, which can slow the digestive process and cause stomach issues.

Lack of Motivation

When you do not sit up straight or stand with your shoulders back, it can also have a negative impact on work ethic. Your focus will be on feeling uncomfortable, rather than the task at hand. Bad posture is also correlated to low self-esteem, per Health Psychology.

How Can PT Help Improve Posture?

Patients with neck and low back pain or headaches can work with a physical therapist to correct the issues causing this discomfort. We will show you how to decrease pain and help strengthen weak muscles. Once the muscles are stronger, we can work on improving range of motion. We also like to educate our patients with self-management techniques to reduce the chance of injury reoccurrence. In this case, proper sitting and standing techniques.

If you have poor posture, the team at Integrated Rehab wants to help you carry yourself with confidence! Contact us today to learn more.