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Dr. Karri Cardinal
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"Posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture." Journal of Pain Management, 1994 Good Posture is Good Health Posture ranks right up at the top of the list when you are talking about good health. It is as important as eating right, exercising, getting a good night's sleep and avoiding potentially harmful substances like alcohol, drugs and tobacco. Good posture is a way of doing things with more energy, less stress and fatigue. Good posture means your bones are properly aligned and your muscles, joints, and ligaments can work as nature intended. It also means your vital organs are in the right position and can function at peak efficiency. Good posture helps contribute to the normal functioning of the nervous system. Without good posture, your overall health and total efficiency may be compromised. Because the long-term effects of poor posture can affect bodily systems (such as digestion, elimination, breathing, muscles, joints and ligaments), a person who has poor posture may often be tired or unable to work efficiently or move properly. The good news is that most everyone can avoid the problems caused by bad posture... and you can make improvements at any age. Poor Posture - How Does it Happen? Often, poor posture develops because of accidents or falls. But bad posture can also develop from environmental factors or bad habits. This means that you have control. In most cases, poor posture results from a combination of several factors, which can include: 1. Accidents, injuries and falls 2. Poor sleep support (mattress) 3. Excessive weight 4. Visual or emotional difficulties 5. Foot problems or improper shoes 6. Weak muscles, muscle imbalance 7. Careless sitting, standing, sleeping habits 8. Negative self image 9. Occupational stress 10. Poorly designed work space Poor Posture & Pain - A lifetime of poor posture can start a progression of symptoms in the average adult. It can start with; Fatigue - Your muscles have to work hard just to hold you up if you have poor posture. You waste energy just moving, leaving you without the extra energy you need to feel good. Tight, achy muscles in the neck, back, arms and legs - By this stage, there may be a change in your muscles and ligaments and you may have a stiff, tight painful feeling. More than 80% of the neck and back problems are the result of tight, achy muscles brought on by years of bad posture. Joint stiffness and pain - At risk for "wear and tear" arthritis, or what is termed degenerative osteoarthritis. Poor posture and limited mobility increase the likelihood of this condition in later years. Common symptoms of poor posture include headaches, neck pain, arthritis, muscle strain, muscle spasms, pinched nerves, disc injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, TMJ, fibromyalgia, fatigue, numbness or tingling in hands/legs, and low back pain.

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