Many people often wonder what causes the changes in their bodies to deviate so far from it original functional design. When misalignment occurs and is not corrected, your body begins to learn that this misaligned position is the new baseline from which to function. Then a new neurological pattern between your muscles and your brain is created which results in a permanent change in your posture.
In this list of the top 5 most common causes, I may only provide one example, however, keep in mind that there are many other examples. The goal of this article is for you to understand the principle causes and relate it to possible examples in your life. In most instances, the source of most people’s postural issues is a combination the reasons listed. Armed with this knowledge, it is my hope that you will be able to make the necessary changes and take the necessary steps to improve and maintain your health.
#5: Surgery. Surgeries can result in a fundamental change in the body’s structure and design. Fusing vertebrae, removing ligaments, cutting tendons, etc..., etc… A person who has had these types of surgeries no longer has the same parts as a regular body; therefore, the body must compensate in order to function under this new structure. When compensation occurs, a change in posture results.
#4: Accidents or traumas. When an injury occurs, it affects the entire body, not just the specific area that was injured. People can see how an injury to the low back or dislocating a shoulder can affect posture, however, it is important to know that even something as small as spraining a toe has an effect on the entire body. When you experience an accident or trauma, certain parts of the body cannot function properly, therefore, other parts must pick up the slack and compensate.
#3: Habitual alteration of posture. Many people habitually alter their posture every day without knowing it. For example, many men and women wear shoes with elevated heels. The human body’s design is based on the foot being flat in relation the ground. The body must change its alignment in order to maintain balance when the heel is elevated. When a person walks with this changed alignment every day, that position becomes permanent.
#2: Repetitive motions. Repetitive motions at work or in sports often cause tremendous muscle imbalances. For example, if you look at sports like baseball and golf, you will see those sports are heavily based upon rotation in one direction. Inevitably, we end up see in a strong rotation in the posture of the athlete. This is then made worse by “sport specific” strength and conditioning programs that simulate the exact same motions in their training. Now the problem is made even stronger.
#1: Inactivity. The absolute #1 cause of postural misalignment is inactivity. More specifically, the sitting position is probably the main culprit. When the body is sitting in a slouched position, all postural muscles are deactivated. We’ve all heard the saying, “If you don’t use it, you lose it” and that is exactly what happens. In addition, when it comes to the muscles that are being used when sitting, look at position they are constantly working from. I call it the “hunched over like a monkey” position. For example, many people sit at their jobs for at least 8 hours, drive their cars for 2 hours, watch TV for 2 hours, and use their computers for 1 hour. In addition, all meals are eaten in the sitting position. Just those few things listed is already over 13 hours of sitting. How many hours each day are you hunched over like a monkey? Not only are our postural muscle weakened, but it should be obvious how our bodies eventually become reshaped by the position we are in for the greatest amount of time. Unfortunately, this increasing amount of inactivity is becoming more prevalent amongst our children.