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Bad posture can result in a number of ailments, all fixable. You probably suffer from at least one of them. Almost everyone is guilty of sitting or standing in the way that contributes to bad posture. Do you slouch at your desk with your head pointed forward at your computer. What about hunching to look down at your smartphone, or sitting awkwardly on your soft couch for hours watching your favorite series? With only the best intentions, you can have unforeseen consequences to your body and health from these everyday activities. Let’s explore what bad posture results in and how to fix it.

Bad Posture Affects Your Back, Neck, and Shoulder Pain

If you have a desk job, you know you risk the common problem of pain in the neck and back caused by not sitting straight in your chair while working on your computer. Did you know that your spine has three main curves? With good posture, these curves are aligned to form an ‘S’ shape. When your spine is in this shape, pressure is evenly distributed, and your spine is able to absorb pressure effectively. If your posture is bad, however, the spine’s ‘S’ shape changes. That’s when pressure is redistributed and causes pain. 

Poor Posture Results In Difficulty With Breathing

Your body needs to be lengthened and your spine properly aligned to breathe effectively. When your spine is in the correct ‘S’ shape, there is enough room in your thoracic cavity for your diaphragm to expand and contract as you breathe. Without this space, you’ll be unable to breathe and take in oxygen efficiently. Your body needs oxygen to restore and rejuvenate cells and to keep the heart, brain, and other organs healthy. 

Bad Posture Can Result In Heartburn As Well

You may suffer from acid reflux or heartburn after a meal and, like many people, assume it is caused by the food you eat. Often, however, heartburn is caused by slouching in your seat when you eat. Slouching causes your abdominal organs to become compressed, putting pressure on them. 

Since your gastrointestinal system can’t function properly in this position, stomach acid is pushed in the wrong direction, causing acid reflux or heartburn. 

Bad Posture Can Result In Fatigue

Poor posture puts a strain on your entire body. When your spine is out of alignment, your muscles, joints, and ligaments are strained as they work harder, and your body has to work against its natural movement and alignment. 

This can affect your ability to sleep. If you have neck, back, or shoulder pain, you may struggle to relax your body and get into a comfortable sleeping position, causing you to toss and turn and lose hours of sleep. 

How to Fix Bad Posture

If you know your posture is poor, there are several things you can do to correct it, as having a good posture will help you have a better quality of life. Consider the following to fix bad posture and relieve the pressure.

Exercise and Stretching

Being physically active will help correct your posture. Exercising at least two to three times a week is especially helpful if you spend most of your time seated behind a desk. This will help to strengthen your muscles. It’s also important to incorporate stretching exercises into your workout routine and get up and stretch a few times during the day. 

When you’re stretching, you must keep in mind the ‘curve reversal rule,’ which means that you must stretch in the opposite direction to the way you’ve been sitting. For example, you must stretch your back backward if you’ve been slouching forward to look at your computer. 

Also include neck stretches by moving your head from side to side and bringing your head down to your ear on each side. Check out Yoga for Back Pain

Physiotherapy or Massage Therapy 

If you suffer from pain caused by poor posture, a physical therapist or massage therapist can help you. The physical therapist will treat you and put together a program of exercises and stretches that you can do to strengthen your muscles, improve your posture and eliminate the pain.

 A massage therapist will use massage techniques to relieve muscle pain, improve muscle tone and help your muscles to relax. 

Health insurance typically doesn’t cover the costs of massage therapy, but they may pay for physical therapy, provided you meet the requirements. Suppose you don’t want to pay the physiotherapy costs yourself. In that case, you must see your physician first, as Medicare Part B will only cover the costs of your physical therapy if a physician has recommended it.

If you have private health insurance, you may need to be referred by a physician, depending on your plan. Also, some health insurance plans will cover the total amount of physical therapy, while others will require you to pay a co-payment.  


References


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