Feeling tense and achy? It may be due to poor posture. While the media is touting warnings about “tech neck” — the neck pain and damage sustained from hunching over smartphones and other devices for too long — you’re actually risking harm to your overall health if any other body part becomes misaligned.
That’s because, as the American Journal of Pain Management notes, a person’s posture affects and moderates every physiological function, from breathing to hormonal production.
Yes, every physiological function.
How, you may ask? “Our muscles and ligaments routinely work to balance us as we sit, stand, bend and sleep,” says Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president of the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. “Over time, however, uneven stress causes the body to adapt and change, subsequently causing aches and pains.”
Various factors can contribute to poor posture, including injury, stress, obesity, pregnancy and weak postural muscles. Chiropractors have been specifically trained, as part of their minimum seven years of higher education, to provide drug-free, hands-on care that helps to naturally align and strengthen the spine, as well as advise on healthy lifestyle habits.
And as far as habits go, in keeping with National Correct Posture Month, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is out with tips designed to help you develop smart ways to perfect your posture. Among them:
• Maintain a neutral spine, meaning chin up and shoulders pulled back.
• Avoid extended time spent with your head flexed forward.
• Don’t cross your legs while seated.