What is Bad Posture?
Bad posture is generally an acquired disorder caused by lack of conceptual education, lack of postural analysis, poor occupational equipment and usage, poor exercise prescription, and lack of motion.
Bad posture is a byproduct of digital disease.
Our bodies were not designed to be sedentary or to perform repetitive asymmetrical occupational motions.
Common Symptoms of Bad Posture
Bad posture is symptomatic of a lack of motion, incorrect exercise programming, and poor occupational ergonomics. A majority of the time bad posture is curable with a correctly structured exercise and health education program.
- Arthritis – a deterioration of a joint caused by poor posture. Typically we can see a depletion of hyaline cartilage and synovial fluid. This can lead to osteophytes/bone spurs and structural change in the bone surrounding the joint.
- Shoulder & Back Pain – caused by poor posture and asymmetrical occupational motions that lead to an overloading of the cartilage, tendons and ligaments.
- Breathing Issues – poor posture can cause neuromuscular reflexes that can lead to a deactivation of some the primary breathing muscles such as: diaphragm and intercostal muscles. It can also lead hypertonicity and spasms to secondary muscles that can lead to difficulty in breathing.
- Forward Head Posture – usually we see the ear transferring beyond the line of the A.C. joint and the front of the ankle. It usually caused poor occupational mechanics and lack of purposeful exercises that properly balance the upper and lower body. It is a common misconception that forward head posture is always symptomatic of muscular imbalance in the upper body. It is usually caused by imbalances in the upper and lower body.
- Poor Circulation – we usually see this as edema (blood pooling in the hands and feet), low heart rate, low blood pressure, and the feeling of being light headed. Poor posture can reduce blood flow to certain areas of the body, cause too much flow to certain areas of the body, and cause unwanted pressures on the circulatory system.
- Fatigue – Most of our new clients are expending 300%-400% more energy due to poor posture. In addition, the immune network has to work overtime to heal the damage caused by poor posture.
Can Bad Posture Be Fixed?
The human body is a master of survival and will compensate psychologically, nutritionally, and physically to nearly every situation. Unfortunately, this places a lot of stress on the body that can cause great harm to any of the 10 systems of the body, but especially to the nervous, muscle, and skeletal systems. Fortunately, through postural analysis, health education, and corrective exercise, bad posture can be fixed.
It is vital that you identify poor sitting postures. This can be done by purchasing a good ergonomic chair or purchasing a vertically adjustable table and setting up your entire workstation correctly. Bad sitting posture will cause strains, sprains, and joint degeneration in your back. You must fix your workstation and bad sitting posture!
Occupational mechanics is essential, but never ideal. Hence, a corrective exercise program is necessary to balance out repetitive asymmetrical movements that you perform at work or home. There is no one or general program you can do. I always laugh when I see a copied exercise program that I see at a doctors office or for an occupational safety program at a person’s job. These have minimal success and can actually injure you more. Every person must be assessed 6-10 times over a 3 month period and given exercises that are specific to their body. This is how you fix bad posture, prevent injuries, and treat back pain.
Can Bad Posture Affect Breathing?
Yes, bad posture can impinge nerves and muscles employed during the facilitation of breathing. Ultimately, bad posture affects the chest because our pectoral muscles shorten and tighten which often can cause improper breathing.
What Muscles Are Affected by Bad Posture
Muscles that can be negatively affected by bad posture include:
- Intercostal Muscles
Can Bad Posture Cause Hip Pain?
The short answer is yes, hip pain is a symptom of bad posture. Bad posture causes weight to be asymmetrically distributed on the hip socket. Whatever postures you spend the most time in during the day will determine what your posture will look like most of the time. Your nerves and muscles will conform to this dysfunctional posture. Muscles and nerves are forced to perform duties they were not originally meant to. This causes excessive stress on the muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage. A postural assessment will determine which nerves and muscles are causing the hip pain.
Many nerves, muscles, and ligaments surround the hips. Some of these agonist muscles have the predominant job of being postural muscles and have the endurance to perform that function. Others, known as antagonist muscles, have the function of moving the body. These muscles have a very low amount of endurance. The postural muscles have a tendency to shorten in response to poor posture and poor exercise prescription. The antagonist muscles have the tendency to weaken. This is the basic scenario for any type of hip pain.
Just 15-30 minutes per day of doing an exercise program that is specifically designed on your postural issues can mitigate your hip pain. Interestingly, muscles and the entire human body have no concept of time. Instead, time or length of existence is gauged by cellular damage and Mitosis – the number of times a cell has turned over.
When cells have been excessively damaged and/or turned over too many times the body will reach its termination point. I point this out to highlight the idea that time has no meaning in the body. It doesn’t matter if you have 10 minutes or 10 hours to exercise per day. The body is after constant homeostasis amongst the 10 systems of the body. Unfortunately, muscles, nerves and the brain will adapt at their own pace, not based upon our schedule. It may take 10 minutes or 10 hours or 10 days to get a nerve and muscle to do what you want it to do. It may have taken 10 years to get your bad posture and hip pain. How long will it take to mitigate? We recommend that exercise length and quantity is based upon how long it takes to correct boney alignment. It’s not uncommon to have an exercise last 10-60 minutes in order to retrain the brain, CNS, PNS, and muscles.
Can Bad Posture Cause Tremors?
Bad posture can have a minor role in tremors. The primary contributor to tremors are:
- Poor nutrition
- Exposure to heavy metals
Any system that is under stress will stress every other system of the body. Bad posture places a big strain on the energetic and immune systems in the body. It can rob the brain and central nervous system of vital nutrients such as
- Alpha-lipoic acid
- DHA (an essential omega 3 fatty acid that makes up a large part of the brain and central nervous system)
- Non-trace minerals
- Trace minerals
Heavy metals such as aluminum which is found in just about everything ranging from your deodorant to your pans is commonly correlated with neurodegenerative diseases.
Most humans are expending about 300% more energy than they should be due to bad posture.
Muscles and nerves consume an immense amount of energy and also require the aforementioned nutrients to scavenge free radicals, used protein & fats, among other chemicals that are normally produced in a healthy body. The body has to make a decision as to which vital system to protect with antioxidants and lipids that form and protect cells. Unfortunately, heavy metals and pro-oxidants love the brain and CNS. So, the human genome chooses to protect the brain and CNS from damage.
Correct posture enhances the energetic and immune system so that the body can protect the brain and nervous system from neurodegenerative diseases like tremors.
What is Scoliosis
Scoliosis is sideways or lateral rotation of the spine that is usually seen as a c-curve or an s-curve. Scoliosis can be genetic are or an acquired disorder through repetitive poor posture during the day. There are two types of scoliosis:
Can Bad Posture Cause Scoliosis?
Yes, it can. Most people tend to lean to their left or right when sitting or standing during the day. This habit can lead to scoliosis.
How Do I Treat Scoliosis?
Hereditary scoliosis is difficult to treat, but can get worse and cause more damage if not treated with proper postural analysis, stretching and strengthening. Acquired scoliosis is very treatable with postural analysis, occupational training, and corrective postural exercises. We’ve had many clients with both types of conditions and we’ve had amazing success with both.
Starting with a Postural Assessment is key to identifying exercise positions and exercises that will mitigate your scoliosis and prevent further damage. Clients who have scoliosis will go to great creative lengths to unknowingly compensate and mask their condition. Every postural landmark must be scrutinized to discover what the body is doing to compensate. Typically, the load is placed excessively to one side of the body, and the person will compensate by bending their hips, knees and ankles to help draw the spine straight. Now, not only do you have spinal issues, but are now exposed to strains, sprains and joint degeneration in areas far away from the scoliosis.
What is Lordosis?
Lordosis is an excessive curvature of the lumbar and less commonly known cervical vertebrae.
Can Bad Posture Cause Lordosis?
Lumbar lordosis is caused when the primary hip flexor muscles become overly used and tight, leading to a reflexive deactivation of the gluteus maximus – a hip extensor. This creates an increased curvature (concave) of the lumbar vertebrae and forward tilting of the pelvis. In addition, we can see an imbalance between the lumbar extensor muscles and the rectus abdominis. Hence, an overuse of the lumbar extensors muscles which leads to a reflexive deactivation of the rectus abdominis.
Is Lordosis Treatable?
Nearly 99% of the time this is preventable and treatable. A very precise Postural Assessment and corrective exercise program can bring your lumbar vertebrae back to normal curvature. Generally, this condition is rectified by strengthening the weak muscles and stretching the tight & overused muscles. Exercise choice and position are essential and different for everyone.
Furthermore, neuromuscular-skeletal imbalances above and below the aforementioned muscle can also have a powerful impact on lordosis. This is why the entire body has to be evaluated and treated as one. Every muscle and bone must be perfectly placed when mitigating this condition.
Occupational mechanics assessment, postural education, postural/gait analysis and meticulous exercise prescription are needed to mitigate this issue. Typically, people that spend a lot of time on sitting or hyperactive work (construction and other manual labor jobs) are most prone to this condition.
What is Kyphosis?
This is a convex rounding of the thoracic vertebrae. Kyphosis occurs when the thoracic extensors and scapular adductors (rhomboid major/minor and trapezius III) become reflexively deactivated by overuse and hypertonicity of the the latissimus dorsi, pectoralis major, and biceps. We usually see this as slumped shoulders, rounded shoulders, slouched back and humpback postures.
Can Bad Posture Cause Kyphosis?
Is Kyphosis Treatable?
Kyphosis, like Lordosis, is treatable nearly 99% of the time. A very precise postural assessment and corrective exercise program bring your lumbar vertebrae back.
The condition is either congenital or hereditary, or a combination of both. Both conditions should be aggressively assessed and treated with corrective exercises which will help to mitigate the kyphotic curve, or prevent from getting worse if it’s congenital.
Generally, this condition is rectified by strengthening the weak muscles and stretching the tight & overused muscles. Exercise choice and position are essential, and is different for everyone. Furthermore, neuro-muscular-skeletal imbalances above and below the aforementioned muscle can also have a powerful impact on kyphosis. This is why the entire body has to be evaluated and treated as one. Every muscle and bone must be perfectly placed when mitigating this condition.
Occupational mechanics assessment, postural education, postural/gait analysis and meticulous exercise prescription are needed to mitigate this issue. Typically, people that spend a lot of time on keyboards & mice are most prone to this condition.
Exercises to Fix Bad Posture & Back Pain
Static Back Treatment
Static Back is the most effective treatment for nearly any musculoskeletal disorder that is causing pain and tension. It stretches and deactivates overused muscles providing a neutral foundation for retraining dormant neural pathways. It’s difficult to retrain dormant neural pathways and weak muscles when the opposing muscle group is overused and tight.
There are 3 types of muscles:
- Slow Twitch
- Fast Twitch
Slow twitch have a lot of endurance and are responsible for posture. Fast twitch muscles have very little endurance and are responsible for quick dynamic motions-like sprinting. They are not responsible for posture. Slow twitch muscles adapt to: injury, overuse, underuse, poor posture, poor exercise protocol/prescription, and poor occupational ergonomics by shortening (shortened muscle spindle) specific postural muscles. This causes a deactivation of the opposing muscle group and nerves. Fast twitch muscles adapt to injury, overuse, underuse, poor posture, poor exercise protocol/prescription, and poor occupational ergonomics by deactivation of the nervous signals and muscular connectivity. This creates imbalances between the agonist and antagonist muscle groups which creates kyphosis, bad posture and number of symptoms like sciatica.
Glute contractions are one of the most powerful weapons for fighting kyphosis and bad posture. A majority of people with sciatica have an forward tilted Pelvis. This is caused by tight rectus femoris and tight psoas major hip flexor muscles which are postural muscles. Conversely, the gluteus maximus (hip extensor muscle) is neurological deactivated, the gluteal contraction exercise innervates the gluteus maximus muscle and deactivates the the tight hip flexors. This brings the pelvic alignment back to neutral or about zero degrees. This takes the pressure off of the sciatic nerve.