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Causes of Bad Posture

Published on 27th June 2016

Learn How Bad Posture Really Gets Created

An easy explanation of the underlying cause

Bad posture is not a sign of laziness. It has nothing to do with not using your muscles properly to hold you up. It is caused by changes to the bony structure that makes up your spine.

Your body’s “scaffolding” goes out of alignment and your body cannot fix these changes by itself because it does not have muscles that pull in exactly the right direction.

These misalignments can happen through a variety of causes. It does not even take much force to create them! Imagine a baby getting patted on the back to help with burping. That’s enough force to start the process!

Here are some of the common reasons why bones get moved out of position:

  • Car accidents
  • Falling and landing on your back or bum
  • A friendly slap on the back
  • People pushing on your spine while you are face-down (yes, a firm massage may do it)
  • People walking on your back while you are face-down (yes, we’ve heard it all!)
  • Falling off a horse or getting kicked by a horse
  • Sitting for long periods in an unsupportive seat (car seats, train seats, and plane seats are not built with people’s bodies in mind!)
  • Using a mattress which does not offer enough support
  • Incorrectly setting up your pillow
  • Wearing shoes that do not support your body properly

All these things can cause bones in your spine to get moved out of alignment. Your body can often fix these misalignments – if it has muscles to do so. However, if bones get pushed out in a forward direction, your body does not have muscles to pull them backward. As a result it has to compensate. This means twisting up in other areas.

The goal here is to take pressure away from the original site.

An example of how bodies twist up:

You may, for example, have a “goose-neck” where your head sits in front of your body rather than above your shoulders. Your head becomes heavier on your spine, and this changes your centre of gravity: your body is now leaning forward like the famous tower in Pisa and it becomes unstable against gravity. You may feel tightness in your shoulders or neck, as your body tries and fails to fix this problem. Of course your brain wants your body to stay upright though, and it doesn’t like tight muscles either! To reduce the problem a little bit, your spine needs to twist up in a different area. This reduces the “leaning forward” a little. However, the twisting up creates a new problem in that other area. The process then repeats and each time your spine twists up a little more. As a result, your spine gradually changes shape. Not only does this eventually cause tight muscles, but your spinal cord has to follow these shape changes, and it gets stretched. This literally pulls on your brain! Of course your brain doesn’t like being pulled on all the time but it still wants your body to be stable against gravity. So it now tells your body to tuck your bum under so that your pelvis is back underneath your head and your body is more centred. All of a sudden, you may feel pain down in your low back or hips.

By now your muscles are working overtime, still trying to fix the original problem that they can’t fix (because they’re simply not pulling in the right direction). So those muscles become even more tight, achy, and sore. Tight muscles are one common source of pain. Stretched nerves in your spinal cord are another one. As the twisting builds up over time, you may develop headaches, migraines, neck pain, or low back pain, your posture keeps getting worse, and it just generally feels like your body is falling apart.

Results of bad posture

If your spine is out of alignment, the weight of your body gets distributed unevenly and joints can get stuck. Your body mechanics start to change and your body doesn’t function as well as it should. The increased pressure in some areas can lead to degenerative changes to bones, joints, and cartilage. The doctors then call this “wear and tear”, “arthritis”, “disc problems”, or simply “degeneration of the spine”. They may tell you there’s nothing that can be done about it; that you just have to live with it; that it may get even worse over time; and that it is simply a normal sign of old age.

What would you say if we told you that the process can get reversed? That we can untwist your body and restore your posture? That restored posture means improved function and less pain?


To find out how we can help you with Advanced Biostructural Correction™, book a free consultation with one of our practitioners.


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