If you still haven't noticed, the United States has a huge posture problem. Whether it's due to prolonged sitting from deskwork or simply lounging on the couch for hours on end, bad posture has been dogging people of all ages. Back and neck problems top the list of likely posture woes. People with an asymmetrical body also suffer from headaches, poor balance, and even breathing difficulties. According to Harvard Medical School, bad posture also presents three surprising health risks. These include incontinence, constipation, as well as heartburn, and slowed digestion. Do you suspect you may have bad posture? Here's how you can tell if you have an unbalanced musculoskeletal system:
- Hunched Back. Technically known as kyphosis, a hunchback refers to the abnormal forward curvature in your upper back. Modern activities cause you to bend your neck and upper back. These sedentary activities include sitting on your desk all day long to work, attending an online class, using your smartphone for hours on end to watch movies, or playing mobile games. Stiffness can build if you don't shift your body and move about. This will make it more difficult to realign your spine, causing you to develop a hunched back.
- Rounded Shoulders. Also called mom posture, this term is used to describe shoulders that are out of alignment with the spine. It's part of overall poor posture, which can get worse without treatment. Any activity that causes your body to look down or move forward for long periods can lead to slumped shoulders. Some of the daily tasks that can contribute to this condition include driving a vehicle, using electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, or computers, and prolonged sitting. You may also be prone to rounded shoulders if you carry heavy objects or bend over repeatedly all day.
- Duck Bottom. This is another indicator that you have a bad posture. A duck bottom means that your pelvis tilts forward, enhancing the curve through your spine's lumbar region. This places additional pressure on your lower back. If you don't correct this posture, it can result in the tightening of your hip flexor muscles and hamstrings. When standing, you will easily notice a pelvic tilt as you look at yourself in a mirror from a side view.
- Recurring Headaches. Another common symptom that people with bad posture experience is persistent headaches. A head forward position places your neck's joints and discs under immense strain as they provide support to the weight of your head. Your neck muscles get overworked in a forward head carriage position. This creates a lot of tension where they're attached to the back of your skull. As a result, you suffer from tension headaches. Of course, headaches could be due to a variety of causes. These include dehydration, teeth-grinding, or stress.
Do you need help with reversing your bad posture? At Ocean Chiropractic & Health Center, we can help ease your pain and maintain the natural S-curve of your spine. Contact any of our offices today in Fort Pierce, Vero Beach, or Port St. Lucie, Florida, to book your consultation.