Think back to your school days, sitting at a desk all day listening to the teacher! Sometimes you would tune out and start dozing off. You find your elbows in front of you on the desk slipping further onto the table and your slouching further and further forward. These are the times that having a great posture starts to come to an end.
GOOD POSTURE IS SERIOUS HEALTH BUSINESS!
Posture refers to the alignment of your spine with all its adjoining structures. A person with good posture maintains proper alignment through all sitting, standing and lying positions. Bad posture in the form of slouching, hunching or slumping creates misalignment along the spinal column that disrupts nearly all major components of the musculoskeletal system.
Failing to correct bad posture has significant implications for the skeletal system.
THERE ARE A NUMBER OF AREAS THAT BAD POSTURE HAS MAJOR STRESS EFFECTS ON THE HUMAN BODY!
The skeletal ailments that result from bad posture are the result of misalignment in the spine. When your posture is good, the upper cervical curve, mid thoracic curve and lower lumbar curve of your spine balance along an imaginary vertical line that runs down your body from the top of your head to the bottom of your feet. Proper posture ensures that your spine is neither angled to either side of your body nor exaggerated along any of its natural curves. Improper posture disrupts the alignment of the spine by either over emphasizing one or more of the spinal curves, or by causing horizontal curvature to the spinal column. An improperly aligned spine disrupts alignment of other major bone and muscles, which can cause short term pain or more long-term structural damage.
Joints in the body are protected by connective tissue designed to cushion and protect the joint during movement. A misaligned spine causes weight or stress to be redistributed throughout the body, so joints that were not intended to bear a significant amount of stress are now required to compensate for poor posture. This can eventually lead to degeneration of the supportive connective tissue.
The skeletal system coordinates growth with muscle fibres in order to maintain alignment and balance. Some forms of chronic posture can negatively impact on normal growth patterns. Bad posture can in turn place added stress on the vertebrae of the spine that can cause the connective disks to wear down more quickly, compressing bones of the spine and causing a loss in height.
Written by our Remedial Massage Therapist Michelle Hessey.