10 Ways Bad Posture Can Negatively Affect Your Health

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Over the past couple decades, technology has dramatically transformed our lives, mostly in positive ways. But technology has its downside, causing us to become more sedentary, and setting us up for bad posture.

Long hours spent sitting at a work station, repeatedly looking down at your phone, and binging on TV and movies during leisure time encourages slouching, poor muscle tone and overall poor health due to physical inactivity.

Here are just a few of the negative health consequences of poor posture:

1

Headaches: Migraines and cervicogenic headaches originate in the neck, where compressed nerves and restricted blood vessels affect neural messages and blood circulation to the brain.

2

Neck and Jaw Pain: Text neck and tech neck are two fairly recent postural syndromes that are causing people to seek treatment for neck pain. Slouching when sitting or standing can make the condition worse, placing pressure on nerves and causing painful muscle spasm. Poor head and neck alignment can also cause jaw pain and TMJ dysfunction.

3

Low Back Pain: Sitting for long hours with poor posture weakens your core and causes pelvic instability. Pelvic weakness in turn can cause the nerves that affect the low back to become compressed or entrapped, leading to chronic low back pain.

4

Poor Balance: Maintaining good balance while standing or walking depends on the ability of your muscles to work together in a coordinated fashion to hold your body upright. Poor posture causes some muscles to become weak, and others to become tight, inhibiting your ability to achieve and maintain optimal balance, and increasing your risk of falls and injury.

5

Knee Pain: Poor posture shifts your body weight forward and off-center, placing extra load on your knees to compensate. Standing with your knees locked out is an example of postural compensation. Good posture favorably distributes your body weight and takes a load off your knees.

6

Shoulder Pain: Slouching causes muscle imbalances in the shoulder girdle that can place pressure on nerves and muscles. Weakened upper back muscles from slouching can cause instability in the shoulder blade that can cause a gradual onset of rotator cuff imbalance, pain and injury.

7

Poor Gait Mechanics: Bad posture during walking or running can cause a number of musculoskeletal imbalances that set you up for injury.

8

Poor Digestion: Sitting in a curled up or slouched position compresses your vital organs and digestive tract, slowing the digestive process and leading to problems with incontinence and constipation.

9

Sexual Dysfunction: Excessive sitting combined with poor posture can weaken the muscles of the pelvic floor that underlie sexual performance. For men, a weakened pelvic floor can reduce stamina and cause weakened ejaculations. Women with weak pelvic floor muscles may experience pain during intercourse, reduced arousal and infrequent orgasms.

10

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The nerves that originate in your neck and upper back run down your arm to control the muscles of your wrists, and hands. Poor posture can place pressure on the median nerve that runs through the carpal tunnel at your wrist, causing painful carpal tunnel syndrome.

Postural Education and Treatment at NYDNR

In addition to reducing pain and protecting your health, good posture projects a positive confident image. The physical therapy team at NYDNR can analyze your postural habits when sitting, standing and walking, and we can help you make long-lasting changes. Don’t let bad posture ruin your health. Contact us today and discover your very best posture for everyday health.

Research at NYDNRehab

Conference: the 12th World Congress of the International Society of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine (ISPRM 2018)At: Paris, France https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326295102_MULTILEVEL_EVALUATION_OF_MOTION_AND_POSTURE_PATTERNS_IN_LOWER_EXTREMITY_AND_SPINE_USING_DYNAMIC_ULTRASOUND
Multilevel evaluation of motion and posture patterns in lower extremity and spine using dynamic ultrasound https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326395779_Multilevel_evaluation_of_motion_and_posture_patterns_in_lower_extremity_and_spine_using_dynamic_ultrasound
Probiotics and aerobic physical activity improve symptoms of MetS, muscle and nerves structure and posture in overweight patients https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341574955_Probiotics_and_aerobic_physical_activity_improve_symptoms_of_MetS_muscle_and_nerves_structure_and_posture_in_overweight_patients
PRECISE DRY NEEDLING OF TRIGGER POINTS IN NECK, SHOULDER AND PTERYGOID MUSCLES IS EFFECTIVE TO TREAT MIGRAINE AND HEADACHE AND RESTORE POSTURE https://www.researchgate.net/publication/344808393_PRECISE_DRY_NEEDLING_OF_TRIGGER_POINTS_IN_NECK_SHOULDER_AND_PTERYGOID_MUSCLES_IS_EFFECTIVE_TO_TREAT_MIGRAINE_AND_HEADACHE_AND_RESTORE_POSTURE
Probiotic treatment and aerobic physical activity effects on visceral fat and posture in overweight patients with asthma https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337486626_Probiotic_treatment_and_aerobic_physical_activity_effects_on_visceral_fat_and_posture_in_overweight_patients_with_asthma
Whole-Body Neuromuscular Ultrasound for Evaluating Posture and Targeted Management of Muscle Spasticity and Pain https://www.researchgate.net/publication/336134647_Whole-Body_Neuromuscular_Ultrasound_for_Evaluating_Posture_and_Targeted_Management_of_Muscle_Spasticity_and_Pain

About the Author

Dr. Lev Kalika is clinical director of NYDNRehab, located in Manhattan. Lev Kalika is the author of multiple medical publications and research, and an international expert in the field of rehabilitative sonography, ultrasound guided dry needling and sports medicine Dr. Kalika works with athletes, runners, dancers and mainstream clients to relieve pain, rehabilitate injuries, enhance performance and minimize the risk of injuries. His clinic features some of the most technologically advanced equipment in the world, rarely found in a private clinic.

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In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)

image

Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)

image

Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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