All About Your Health and Apex, NC

Discover interesting health tips and happenings in our favorite town of Apex, NC

How Posture Affects Your Back and Neck

Good posture is essential to spinal health.  When you look at your spine from the side, it has curves in it.  Your neck curves forward; your upper back curves backwards; and your low back curves forwards.  These curves give your spine shock absorption, much like a spring.  Whenever you sit or stand with good posture, those curves are there to protect your spine.  Unfortunately, in our world of text messaging, computer usage, and video gaming, posture is often compromised.  This puts extra stress on the joints of our spine, our discs, and the nerves that come out in between them.  A study done within the last year showed that just bending forward can increase the stress on your spine by 7 times.  As you stand up straight you have 60% of your body weight on your lower discs (so if you weigh 100 pounds, you have 60 pounds of force sitting on those lower discs).  As you bend forward, the amount of force on those discs increases to the point where you can have up to 400 pounds of force on those discs (and that’s if you weigh 100 pounds, if you weigh more than that, it could be over 500 pounds of force on those discs).  If you have poor posture, day in and day out, you are putting extra weight on your discs and spinal joints which could eventually lead to serious spinal problems.  The same thing applies to your neck.  They say our heads are about the weight of a bowling ball so we have about 10 pounds sitting on the discs of our neck.  If we hold our head down or forward we are putting up to 70 pounds of force on our neck.

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