Having ideal posture when you’re seated or moving is very important for your total body health. While it may seem like your back and neck bear the brunt of bad posture habits, poor posture can affect your whole body, and conversely, ideal posture can be beneficial for your whole body. We expand on that point in today’s blog on the physical benefits of healthy body posture.
Benefits Associated With Ideal Posture
Improved posture can benefit everyone, from people trying to recover after a surgery to older adults looking to prolong the health of their discs and joints. Here’s a look at a number of the benefits associated with ideal posture.
- Improved Function – Your body systems work better when your spine is in a healthy alignment. When you have ideal posture, the stress of your body and your movements is dispersed as expected and no areas are overloaded by stress. If you have bad posture, your knees or hips may be bearing more pressure, which over time will cause them to wear down faster. Good posture helps to minimize wear and tear on your body, which improves or helps to maintain normal function.
- Improves Circulation – If your spine is in a healthy alignment, your veins aren’t being pressured by nearby vertebrae, which allows blood to circulate easily throughout your body. Many spinal structures rely on this healthy circulation to perform optimally, and problems like cramps or muscle spasms can develop if they can’t regularly get the oxygenated blood they need to function correctly. Improving your posture improves your circulation.
- Your Back Becomes Stronger – When you slouch or hunch forward, your lumbar or cervical spine takes on more stress while other areas are relieved of pressure. This can overload some areas of your spine and lead to weakening of areas that are always protected from handling normal stress. If you have ideal posture, stress will be dispersed evenly throughout your spine, ensuring each section handles a normal amount of pressure. This will help to strengthen areas without overloading them so that they can continue to handle more stress in the future. If you haven’t had the best posture, it may feel uncomfortable at first as your spine gets used to the feeling of normal stress that comes with a healthy alignment, but over time your spine will be much stronger because you made conscious changes to your posture.
- Pain Reduction And Injury Prevention – When you move with ideal posture, you’re less likely to suffer an injury, so good posture can help to prevent sprains, strains and other injuries. For example, if you bend at the knees instead of the spine to lift a heavy object, you’re making sure stress is adequately distributed throughout your entire body instead of overloading your spine with poor lifting mechanics. Good posture also helps to reduce pain when we’re in a static position as well. If you’ve ever got up off the couch and felt some soreness in your lower back, or you got out of the car and needed to stretch your neck because it was sore, odds are those dull aches are due to your poor posture. Improving your posture helps to reduce pain and prevent new injuries from developing.
Posture awareness and education are critical aspects of our physical therapy process, and we take time with each of our patients to explain the role improved posture has in their health. Even if improving your posture isn’t directly tied to your recovery, everyone stands to benefit in some way from better posture, so we’ll help give you the tools to check and correct any posture problems you notice throughout the day. For more information, or for help with a new injury or pain, reach out to the team at Ortho Rehab Specialists today.
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