Bad posture is a lifetime scenario for most people. If your head weighs 10 pounds (which is the typical load) and is in alignment directly above your shoulder, the effective load on your spinal tissues is just 10 pounds. However, if your head has moved forward, the load is increased by a factor of ten with each additional inch of forward posture. SO, if you are carrying your head 2 inches forward of where it should be, your head is loading 30 pounds to the supporting tissues. If you are carrying it 3 inches forward of where it should be, then 40 pounds of pressure is being stressed through your neck and shoulders. As a result, your health and performance can decrease while the neck pain, headaches and fatigue that often come with living with these problems increase!
In fact, when your head is carried forward for many years, there is a greater incidence of developing arthritis (aka degenerative joint disease) in the spine. Bad posture also affects the soft tissues and can change the blood flow to the spinal cord itself. Forward posture has also been associated with disc damage. Sustained poor posture robs the muscles of oxygen and causes tissue damage. Tendons, ligaments and discs undergo changes that can become permanent. This is probably why many individuals who have bad posture cannot correct it by themselves!
Studies have revealed that those who suffer from chronic back pain for one year may experience a reduction in the brain’s grey matter equivalent to the average person going through 10 to 20 years of normal aging. It’s no surprise that research has found that posture affects and moderates every physiological function, from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.
Best thing to do to help your posture? Get adjusted! Do your posture exercises (YWTL’s)! Strengthen your core! Pay attention to how you sit, stand, and sleep!