Body alignment is a relationship of structure and function.
Therefore, proper alignment promotes optimal function of the body, and consequently postural collapse can lead to degenerative health consequences.
Below are studies that measure the effects of poor posture as it relates to your health and associated diseases.
Be Smarter, Breath Better, and Pump Easier with Proper Posture
In 2004 a study was published in Journal of Neuroscience that discovered patients presenting with chronic low back pain demonstrated 10-20 times more loss of gray matter in the brain on MRI than the control healthy patients.
In 1987, Dr. Cailliet evaluated the effects of forward head posture as it related to functional respiratory capacity. It was concluded that forward head poor posture can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine, reducing lung capacity by as much as 30%.
Long-term effects associated with decreased lung capacity are heart and blood vascular diseases.
A related study done in 2007 found that there is a direct correlation between the muscles in the neck and regulation of blood pressure and even heart rate.
They found that changes in muscle tone of the neck associated with a patient’s posture presentation had a relay of neural connection between the muscles and the brainstem that plays a crucial role in regulating heart rate and blood pressure.
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3 Ways to Change Your Health By Improving Your Posture.
1. The easiest way to improve your posture is to make a conscious effort daily.
If you focus on proper posture techniques like holding your shoulders back and down, keep your chin tucked and in, and sit with your bottom flat and rounded, over time it will become a habit.
At first, it will feel odd and make you question what others might think. Adding a few minutes a day to the above techniques, you'll be that much closer to preventing the long-term damages and disease effects that chronic poor posture causes.
2. Another way to start increasing your posture is to strengthen those weak spinal, extensor muscles.
These muscles are located on the back and are designed to hold us upright throughout the day. If we don’t engage them, or in other words slouch, they become inherently weak.
The best exercises to engage these postural, posterior muscles are movements that extend away from your mid-line and open up or extend your body.
These can include, but are not limited to, back flys, lat pull downs, posterior deltoid rows, triceps extensions, back raises, and even shrugs.
If all those sounded like gibberish, then focus on engaging the back muscles by opening your arms and squeezing your shoulder blades together. It’s that simple.
3. Lastly, the longest lasting and most impactful tool in posture correction techniques is the muscle re-education techniques used by stretching and manually working out knots and tender areas that inhibit motion and muscle use.
When you have tired, weak, painful postural muscles, you can’t hit the gym to strengthen them, can’t hold them consciously all day, and you feel worn out.
You need to seek out the professionals that know how to create muscle change and re-educate your muscles on what proper posture is and needs to be.
The stretching techniques rewire and reprogram the muscle framework, and the manual therapy techniques take the pain out of the muscle chemistry to allow you to use the muscles that normally you wouldn't be able to engage.