Postural Stress: What Can We Do About It?

Posted by Amina AlTai on

By Dr. Tyler Hamel D.C.

How many people do you know who work at a desk or computer and have constant neck stiffness, back pain, or headaches? There are more Americans today with a dependency on pain killers and muscle relaxers than ever before, [STATISTIC?} and a lot of it has to do with how we treat our spines daily.  Sitting all day can be hard work  on your back! According to the American Chiropractic Association, back pain costs employers at least $50 billion per year; the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons estimates it to be closer to $200 billion dollars per year.  That's no joke!

Over the course of the entire day, we do almost everything in a frontward-oriented posture: Eating, driving, picking up kids, computer work, physical labor, exercise -- even your sleeping position can reflect this posture!  In fact, most of us experience at least 4-8 hours of postural stress per day, which makes for excess stress on our spine. 

How long do you think your body can adapt to all of that postural stress?  The answer is as long as it can, until it suddenly cannot and that is when you start to feel the symptoms, such as aches and pains.  What can start as a simple crick in the neck or lower back stiffness can turn into a more serious muscle spasm, migraine headache or even a degenerative spine condition. Scary stuff. 

So, how do we balance out our posture and reduce stress on an already taxed body?

Postural exercises and stretches are the keys to trying to establish balance between postural stress and postural correction.  I recommend doing these postural stretches and exercises anywhere from five to ten times per day; they only take about five minutes to do.  If you’re in a more sedentary desk job, I highly recommend performing these movements every two hours. 

The importance of postural correction is huge, as better posture translates into more energy and productivity as well as better overall health. Short term solutions are just that—they don’t address the root cause. If you’re looking for move vitality and less aches and pains look no further than a healthy spine.   

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