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Why Proper Posture is Important to Your Overall Health and How to Get it

Are you experiencing stiffness and pain in your back, neck, or shoulders? It may be a result of bad posture.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, your head weighs around 10 pounds when it’s in line with your shoulders. If your tilt your head forward by an inch, it can double the weight it places on your spine. It’s hard to imagine how an inch of movement can have such an impact.

Learning how to maintain proper posture can prevent many health problems. Therefore, Dr. Dinash Yanamadula and his team at Princeton Pain & Spine Institute in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, are here to explain the importance of good posture, and how it affects your health.

Why proper posture is important

Having good posture can improve all aspects of your life. Balance, for example, is critical to just about everything you do. Getting up, walking, and carrying groceries all require balance. Poor posture can weaken your muscles that help you maintain balance and flexibility.

Good posture can prevent injury and certain health problems, like:

Many posture-related problems are linked. If you slouch too much, the pressure can constrict spinal nerves, which may cause sciatica. Poor posture can even impact your exercise form, leading to more injuries.

Long-term health effects from poor posture

Years of slouching can impact your health in unexpected ways. Constipation and incontinence, which is the leaking of urine, are linked to poor posture, according to Harvard Health Publishing.

The extra pressure on your abdomen puts more strain on your bladder, which can cause urine to leak if you cough or laugh hard. Constipation happens in a similar way.  

Another long-term health issue that can develop is arthritis. As you slouch, your neck and back are working hard to support the added weight, which can lead to muscle inflammation. If it’s left untreated, that inflammation may turn into arthritis.

Good posture promotes a healthy back

If you slouch too much, it can weaken the muscles in your back, and may cause more pain in other parts of your body. This happens from all the extra weight and pressure on your back.

Extra pressure on your spine can lead to a spinal curvature. It’s when the curves of your spine shift position over time. A spinal curvature promotes other problems for your back as well. Since your spine’s shape is changing, it can irritate nerves and blood vessels.

Tips to improve your posture

It takes time and practice to develop proper posture. If your job requires you to stand or sit for long stretches of time, you may be constantly slouching without even knowing. Trying to break a habit you’ve done for years isn’t easy, but it’s possible.

One of the best ways to develop proper posture is to seek physical therapy. Dr. Yanamadula offers posture and gait training to help treat posture issues and build a healthy habit. Physical therapy can improve blood circulation to your muscles, which reduces inflammation and pain.

There are also many stretches you can do to relieve tension and improve flexibility. Strengthening your back and abdominal muscles can also help contribute to better posture.

While there are plenty of at-home methods for posture improvement, you can expect better results with a scheduled treatment plan from Dr. Yanamadula. If you want to learn more about our posture training plan, request an appointment today or call our office.

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