Posture is important to the health of your spine. Period. This is not a breakthrough concept. The cultural cliche of the parent telling the child to “sit up straight” demonstrates a general awareness that slouching should be avoided. However, if you were asked to describe in detail the potential downsides of poor posture (outside of neck pain or back pain), could you do it? If your answer is “no,” you’re not alone. This post will clarify exactly why bad posture is so bad for you—and offer a solution for posture correction.
Why Is Posture So Important?
Posture is the way you physically maintain the balance of tension placed throughout your body. The bones are rigid structures that allow for the connective tissues to apply force and coordinate movement around the joints. The bones never touch, because the compressive forces between them are buffered through the tissues of the joint capsule. When the balance of tension and compression around your bones and throughout your joints is ideal, there is very little stress on the tissues, and minimal energy is required to maintain your position relative to gravity. So posture preserves your tissues and increases the efficiency of your metabolism.
For related info, read my previous post on fascia, which explains the importance of the fascial tension in coordinating cellular health.
Understanding the Effects of Bad Posture
Imagine a weighted ball, like the metal sphere at the top of a flag pole. Held in your hand, the ball will have significant weight when cradled near your belly. However, if you try and hold the ball out with your arm extended, you will find it far more strenuous. You will quickly run out of energy and have to drop the ball. If you were to place the ball at the top of a broomstick, and hold the broomstick at the bottom (with the ball high above your head), you would find that—when the ball is balanced perfectly—it is heavy but manageable. But as soon as the broomstick began to tilt in any direction, it would become rapidly more difficult, and the weight of the ball would become heavier and heavier as the tilt increased.
This example shows how the weight of your head—like the metal sphere—becomes more difficult to maintain and places more tension and compression on the spinal joints the further away from your center it becomes. Slouching can put the skull in a position which places tremendous strain on the connective tissues of the spine. This will overload the muscles, and artifacts of compromise will develop within the tissues of the spine and muscles. As the connective tissue adapts, it will become increasingly more rigid and distorted. The imbalance of the spine and the resulting tissue damage will upset other relationships throughout the body—possibly leading to serious consequences, such as increased risk of disease, decreased heart, lung, and organ function, and compromised autonomic nerve health.
Bad posture has a cumulative effect on the spine, muscles, and connective tissues throughout the body. The further developed it becomes, the more difficult it will be to correct—and the more conditioning will be required to reverse the damage.
ELDOA for Posture Correction
Looking for a great solution for posture correction? ELDOA exercises are specifically designed to maintain posture and tissue quality. They can be a tremendous aid in bringing balance to the spine and connective tissues throughout the body. ELDOAFix, for example, is a group class specifically aimed toward establishing healthy posture and reducing back pain.
Check out our new website, bethemostalive.com, for more info on ELDOA and to sign up for classes.
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