Patients often ask me, “What causes bad posture?” I often hear myself answering with something like, “How many hours do you spend at work each day?” The patient responds with, “On average, about eight to 10 hours,” to which I say: “During your work time, you probably sit unconsciously in a slumped posture and in improper body positions.
Some people just engage in repetitive movements. Either way, this can create muscle imbalances leading to poor posture.” For those patients who really “get it,” I might add, “I think that the mind and body communicate and that psychological distress from work, family, finances (or whatever else I have heard them share with me) shows up in our posture.”
Would you agree that poor self-esteem and depressive symptoms are displayed in our posture? Another cause of poor posture is a lack of a variety of movement in our activities of daily living and overall poor flexibility. In essential ways, our unique cultural, mechanical and spiritual histories are part of what affects overall posture and health.
Last year, I was given the opportunity to teach a thoracic spine rehab course. I had never been to a “thoracic spine seminar,” let alone put together eight hours of teaching material on the subject. The seminar could have been called, “The Thoracic Spine – The Forgotten Area Between the Lumbar Region and the Cervical Region.” I continue to learn the compelling interconnection between the thoracic spine and the cervical and lumbar regions.