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How Disease, Injury and Genetics Lead to Unhealthy Postures

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Many individuals attribute to some degree, their neck or back pain to unhealthy posture. Can knowing the causes and underlying factors help guide lifestyle adjustments and seeking medical rehabilitative treatment?

How Disease, Injury and Genetics Lead to Unhealthy Postures

Unhealthy Posture Causes

Numerous factors can cause individuals to practice unhealthy postures regularly.

Practicing healthy posture is a form of exercise where the muscles support the skeleton in stable and efficient alignment that is present in stillness and movement.

Injury and Muscle Guarding

  • After an injury, muscles can spasm to protect the body and help stabilize injuries and protect against further injury.
  • However, movements become limited and can lead to pain symptoms.
  • Prolonged muscle spasms lead to weakened muscles over time.
  • The imbalance between muscles guarding the injury and those still operating normally can lead to posture problems.
  • Musculoskeletal treatment with massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy can help restore optimal functioning.

Muscle Tension and Weakness

  • If certain muscle groups become weak or tense, posture can be affected, and pain symptoms can develop.
  • Muscle weakness or tension can develop when individuals hold a prolonged position day after day or when performing routine tasks and chores in a way that places tension on the muscles or uses them in an unbalanced way.
  • A study found how muscle tension, strength, and flexibility affect posture. Dariusz Czaprowski, et al., 2018)
  • Postural retraining and physical therapy adjustments can help strengthen the muscles and relieve pain symptoms.

Daily Habits

  • As individuals find ways to accommodate muscle spasms, weakness, tension, and/or imbalances, the mind and body can forget and abandon healthy posture.
  • The body then begins compensating using alternate, awkward, and counterproductive muscle contractions and stretching that compromise body and spinal alignment.

Use of Technology

  • Technology – whether sitting at a desk/workstation, using a tablet or cell phone, or working with several devices can gradually shift the body out of alignment. (Parisa Nejati, et al., 2015)
  • Individuals constantly looking down at their phone may develop a text neck, a condition in which the neck is held in flexion or forward tilting too long, which can lead to pain.

Mental Attitude and Stress

  • Individuals under stress or are experiencing stressful situations can begin to have posture problems. (Shwetha Nair et al., 2015)
  • Stress can contribute to over-contracting muscles, which can cause muscle tension, shallow breathing, posture problems, and pain symptoms.
  • Being aware of body position and correcting and adjusting posture can help to counteract stress. (Shwetha Nair et al., 2015)

Footwear Choice and They Are Worn

  • Footwear can affect body posture.
  • High heels shift the body’s weight forward, which can cause misalignment. (Anniele Martins Silva, et al., 2013)
  • Wearing down the outside or inside of the shoes faster from things like weight-bearing habits will imbalance kinetic forces that translate up the ankle, knee, hip, and lower back leading to pain symptoms in any or all of these joints.

Heredity and Genetics

  • Sometimes the cause is hereditary.
  • For example, Scheuermann’s disease is a condition in which adolescent males develop a pronounced kyphosis curve in the thoracic spine. (Nemours. KidsHealth. 2022)

Consult Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic for an evaluation, and let us help you by developing a personalized treatment and rehabilitation program.


The Path To Healing


References

Czaprowski, D., Stoliński, Ł., Tyrakowski, M., Kozinoga, M., & Kotwicki, T. (2018). Non-structural misalignments of body posture in the sagittal plane. Scoliosis and spinal disorders, 13, 6. doi.org/10.1186/s13013-018-0151-5

Nejati, P., Lotfian, S., Moezy, A., & Nejati, M. (2015). The study of correlation between forward head posture and neck pain in Iranian office workers. International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health, 28(2), 295–303. doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00352

Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J., 3rd, Consedine, N., & Broadbent, E. (2015). Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 34(6), 632–641. doi.org/10.1037/hea0000146

Silva, A. M., de Siqueira, G. R., & da Silva, G. A. (2013). Implications of high-heeled shoes on body posture of adolescents. Revista paulista de pediatria : orgao oficial da Sociedade de Pediatria de Sao Paulo, 31(2), 265–271. doi.org/10.1590/s0103-05822013000200020

Nemours. KidsHealth. (2022). Scheuermann’s kyphosis.

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The information herein on "How Disease, Injury and Genetics Lead to Unhealthy Postures" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

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Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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