Posture and vision: What is the relationship?

Posture and vision

There must be a time in your life where you got a lecture from a parent or a teacher about your posture. As you grew older, it may have been ingrained in you that if you are not seated upright all the time, you are bound to have back, neck and other problems. But while it is true that having bad posture can affect your physical health, you should also watch out because of another reason – your vision. It may sound a bit far-fetched, but your vision may deteriorate or improve depending on your posture.

How does posture affect vision?

The relationship between back pain and posture is straightforward. It is easy to understand. However, when someone begins to tell you that posture can affect vision, your head may start to ache. It all starts to the brain. As we know, the brain is responsible for how our body functions which also includes how we react to different stimuli in our environment.

One of the ways we react is by fight or flight. And we come to this conclusion as a result of what we see. For instance, should you see a lion in front of you and you are not in a zoo, you are bound to start running. It may seem like a spur of the moment thing, but it is a translation of millions of neural transmissions that starts in your eyes.

You see the lion, and your eyes send the visual to the brain, and consequently, the brain interprets it as danger and sends signals to your legs that it is time for flight.

The better your posture, the faster the signal will move from your eyes to your spinal cord and down to other parts of the body. When your posture is bad, your vision is also bound to be poor and as a result transmissions from the brain may also be slow.

Can treating back pain help with vision?

Seeing as they are both results of lousy body posture, there is a high possibility. There are different ways you can deal with back pain including physical therapy, acupuncture, yoga, massages, and the Alexander technique among others.

Those methods we have mentioned, and others are not only used for treating your back, neck or any other musculoskeletal related pain you may be feeling but also go a step further and help correct poor posture.

Physical therapy exercises may also help you in relearning proper posture. You will be able to incorporate your daily life activities which are the most important.

Sports-related injuries are also helpful in letting you know you have postural problems. You should talk to a physio or chiropractor about your sports activities and have them guide you on the appropriate body posture.

Should you always be seated upright?

This may have been a simple way of dealing with posture problems, but it is more complicated than that. There are activities that you cannot participate in while you are upright since different physical activities have different posture requirement.

However, your eyes can help, when your posture is skewed, you will find yourself having to either move forward or backward to see clearly. For instance, the best posture when reading is usually your optimal posture.

Final thoughts

Developing your eyesight may be a result of many factors including, as with any other area of our anatomy, food, rest and the amount of stress we have. But making sure we pay attention to our sight letting us know whether we are sitting right or not could save our general health and help us be more aware and reactive to our environment.

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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