Monday, 8 October 2018

7 Surprising Ways Posture can affect your Health

When you're at your desk sending last-minute emails, or deeply focused on editing that board presentation, your posture is probably the last thing on your mind. Though most of us probably don't actively think about our posture throughout the day, we should: Posture can affect your health in some seriously surprising ways.
Good posture can greatly improve your energy levels. By limiting pain, alignment faults, and sequelae of other injuries caused by poor posture, people are more likely to live an active lifestyle and do so for longer. Good posture allows for easier respiration as you are putting your diaphragm in the optimal position for breathing, which in turn can reduce pain.
While good posture can have major health benefits like better energy and respiratory health, poor posture can actually contribute to other health issues beyond neck or back pain.
1. Headaches

Many different things can trigger a headache, but did you know your posture can play a role? There are many kinds of headaches, but cervicogenic headaches originate in the neck.These headaches start in the base of your neck and radiate up. They are typically caused by forward head posture (i.e. head in front of your shoulders and trunk), which places increased stress on the joints and muscles in your upper neck."
2. Fatigue & Sleep Issues
Poor posture can make you feel more fatigued than usual. The body must work harder and expend more energy to keep the body upright in the proper posture position, while fighting poor posture habits. This requires increased energy and leaves one feeling tired. Postural deficits can lead to pain and alignment changes that make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position. This kind of pain can often wake people at night.
3. Hip, Knee, Or Ankle Pain
It's common knowledge that poor posture can contribute to pain in your upper body, like neck or back pain, but it can also cause discomfort in your lower body. It’s hard to believe you can injure your lower extremities while sitting. However, the joints in your lower extremities are very much connected to your spine and posture — literally and figuratively. Altered posture and muscle imbalances caused by poor posture can place strain on your hips, knees and even feet.
4. Digestive Problems
Digestive health problems can be caused by a wide range of factors, but poor posture can contribute to stomach issues like acid reflux or heartburn. When one assumes a slouched posture, the organs are compressed in the abdomen, which makes it harder for the body to digest food, and decreases one’s metabolism.
5. Thoracic Outlet Syndrome
So, you may not have heard of this syndrome before, but it's no less uncomfortable. Forward head posture and slouched shoulders can restrict nerves and [blood] vessels in the lower neck, and upper chest that supply your arms. Symptoms are often diffuse and mild tingling, and/or numbness. This is known as thoracic outlet syndrome, and is often improved with better posture," 
6. Stress
Yes, poor posture can cause both physical and mental stress. Poor posture affects your body’s natural alignment, which puts physical stress on the body and causes soreness and pain. This can also translate into mental stress, decreasing one’s motivation, and overall mood." Moreover, TIME reported that a 2014 study found bad posture negatively impacts your mood, and can contribute to depression and fear.
7. Arthritis
The organization Arthritis Research U.K. explains that, in the long run, poor posture can be extremely detrimental to your joint health, and can be a contributing factor in developing arthritis. Posture is often modifiable, i.e. we can change it. However as we age, poor posture can lead to joint degeneration, arthritis and limited mobility, which turns into 'fixed' poor posture. Making small changes now can prevent long term posture changes in the future.

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Taking Care of Your Back at Work
An NHS study revealed that half of us are affected by back pain and 8 million working days are lost due to work-related back pain each year.  But there are many ways to avoid and ease back pain when working.
Local chiropractor Rob Dobbs, says:
   Be aware of your posture:  when standing try to distribute your weight evenly across the front, back and sides of your feet. When seated, sit up straight; align the ears, shoulders and hips in a vertical line as much as possible. 

   Avoid prolonged positions: even a good sitting position can be tiring and put a strain on muscles. Try alternating sitting at the front of the chair with sitting back against it. Try to also get up and move about every 30minutes. Take 2 minutes to stretch, stand or go for a short walk, this will not only stimulate your muscles, but also your mind!

   Avoid unbalanced posture: such as sitting with your legs crossed, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward or tilting the head up.

   Position your monitor at your natural resting-eye-height. This will avoid straining the neck as you look up or hunch down to your screen. 

   Exercise regularly: A good combination of cardio and strength training will strengthen muscles and protect against back injuries.

   Get moving: The body was designed to move, and it is so important to keep moving. Even if you are suffering from back or neck pain, limiting movement will only exacerbate the symptoms. Try to do lots of gentle movement within a relative pain free zone, in order to prevent everything from locking up.
Top Tip: The most common cause of neck pain is when you hold your head forward for long periods of time.  This places undue stress on the joints of the lower neck, as well as muscles of the neck and shoulders. By trying to pull the neck and shoulders back into alignment, and doing some nice gentle stretches for the neck and chest, you can easily correct this, before it becomes too problematic.

For further information on how Chiropractic can help, please visit