Growing up, we can all probably remember the times we were told to “sit up straight!” and to stop slouching. Having bad posture is usually something that develops over time, and if not corrected, it can lead to some serious negative side effects.
Did you know that poor posture can literally alter the shape of a person’s spine?
When this happens, the spine, which is built to naturally absorb shock and maintain proper balance, is completely compromised and will not function as it should.
If you find that you’re slouching often, here are 5 effects of bad posture that will help motivate you to sit up straight!
1. Poor Digestion
If you work a desk job you know how easy it is to let your neck and shoulders slouch over your chest and abdomen. Nonetheless, it is essential that you try your best to keep your back straight. Sitting in a slouched position compresses your abdominal organs, including your digestive tract. Over time, this can really affect your metabolism and ability to process food correctly.
2. Increased Risk of Heart Disease
When poor posture causes changes in the spine alignment, it can also lead to blood vessel constriction, which in turn affects nutrient and oxygen supply and can result in blood clots and deep vein thrombosis. All of these side effects can greatly increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease if the misalignment goes untreated.
3. Back Pain
One of the most common effects of bad posture is chronic back pain, usually because of disc degeneration, or simply from the excess pressure being suffered by the spine. Disc degeneration occurs when the disks between the vertebrae thin out and lose their cushioning.
A vertical subluxation is when the spine becomes misaligned, affecting the overall integrity of the rest of the spine. When this happens, the subluxations can cause a lot of stress on a person’s back, as well as irritation on the surrounding spinal nerves.
5. Nerve Constriction
As the spine and other bones change their position due to the long-term effects of bad posture, the skeletal system begins to come into contact with surrounding nerves and “pinch” them. These pinched nerves can cause neck and back pain, but they can also cause pain in seemingly unrelated areas of the body.
Although correcting poor posture, or treating the effects of bad posture, can become more difficult as we age, it’s never too late to seek treatment. If you’re in need of spine treatment and require an imaging exam, feel free to contact our office to book an appointment.