In our fast-paced, digital age, many of us find ourselves hunched over screens and desks for hours on end. Yet, we often underestimate the profound impact poor posture can have on our daily lives. Beyond the aesthetic concerns, slouching and improper alignment can lead to a myriad of discomforts that affect our physical and mental well-being.
Recent studies have shed light on the alarming consequences of poor posture, revealing its pervasive influence on our health. From the moment we wake up to the time we hit the hay, our posture plays a significant role in how we feel. Here we will delve into how poor posture contributes to discomfort, ranging from persistent backaches and neck pain to reduced energy levels and heightened stress.
Dr Akshay Kumar Saxena, Senior Consultant Orthopaedics and Joint Replacement, Spine Surgery, Max Smart Super Speciality Hospital, Saket explains how poor posture contributes to chronic discomfort.
How Does Poor Posture Contribute To Chronic Discomfort And Pain?
Dr Saxena shares, “Posture refers to the alignment of the spine with the head, shoulders, and hips. Good posture keeps these parts of the body in a straight and relaxed position that minimizes stress on the muscles. Poor posture causes one or the other body parts out of alignment, leading to a host of problems that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. The complications of poor posture include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and a potbelly.”
Common Signs Or Symptoms That Suggest Chronic Discomfort Due To Poor Posture
Dr Saxena explains, some of the most common problems faced by individuals who have poor posture:
· Head, neck, and upper back pain
· Lower back pain
· Difficulty in walking
· A change in appearance (e.g. A hunchback)
· Increased risk of injury
· Disc degeneration · Knee pain
· Trapping of the tendons in the shoulder, called shoulder impingement
What Role Does Muscle Imbalances Play In Exacerbating Discomfort Caused By Poor Posture?
Dr Saxena says, “Poor posture is particularly hard on the muscles of the body. How the spine, head, neck, and hips are aligned can impact muscle tension in several ways. Poor posture can trigger the body to tighten certain muscles to create more stability.”
“This creates a significant muscle imbalance in the body. The tightness, combined with the strain of supporting extra weight, can lead to increased muscle tension, as well as neck, head, and back pain that interferes with daily life. Because poor posture places extra stress on the muscles, it tends to weaken them, making it harder for them to maintain the body’s position and stability over the long term,” he further explains.
The Connection Between Poor Posture And Spinal Health?
Dr Saxena shares, the Spine has three natural curves: a slight forward curve in the neck (cervical curve), a slight backward curve in the upper back (thoracic curve), and a slight forward curve in the lower back (lumbar curve).
When these curves are in proper alignment, the spine, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles are in balance, and body weight is evenly distributed. The result is a healthy spine with less stress and strain on muscles, joints, and ligaments, and a reduced risk for spinal (Lower back or neck pain ). Poor posture can lead to alteration of these spinal curves and a resultant increase in Neck and Lower Back pain. It can also result in severe deformities in the spine and instability in walking.