How Poor Posture at the Office Can Lead to Negative Long-Term Effects

You probably know the signs of poor posture at work — rounded shoulders, head slouching forward, or body hunched over the keyboard for hours. What you may not realize, however, is that these bad habits are not only causing discomfort in the short term but also contributing to long-term problems.

Here at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Jones II and our highly trained staff provide comprehensive care for people with acute or chronic spine conditions. For patients in Houston, Pearland, and Lake Jackson, Texas, Dr. Jones employs minimally invasive techniques to create optimal results and recovery time.

So if you're feeling pain and strain in your body, these might be the result of bad posture. Here’s how poor posture at the office can lead to negative long-term effects:

Chronic lower back pain

With the back's complicated structure of bones, discs, joints, ligaments, and nerves, it's not surprising that sitting bent over a desk or slouching on your feet all day can wreak havoc on your lower back. Anyone can suffer from lower back pain, but it becomes more prevalent in middle and old age.

Muscle tension caused by poor posture can also cause lower back pain, as the muscles fatigue and become stiff. In addition, being seated for too long can disrupt blood circulation in the back and legs and result in less oxygen reaching the back's nerve and muscle cells.

Pinched nerve

Poor posture can also lead to a pinched nerve in the upper back, which happens when a nerve is overly stretched or compressed by surrounding tissue or bone. Symptoms typically include a sharp pain, often more pronounced on one side than the other, as well as possibly a tingling or numb sensation in the affected area or in the upper body.

Cervical spine problems

The cervical spine (your neck) is made up of seven vertebrae and holds up your head, which is typically 10-12 pounds. When you have poor posture, your head tends to lean forward, which adds an extra 10 pounds of weight per inch of improper alignment.

This can result in a variety of problems, including hyperflexion of the lower cervical spine and hyperextension of the upper cervical spine. This affects your spine's natural curve, which then abnormally lengthens and stretches the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots.

Kyphosis

Caused by abnormal curving of the spine, kyphosis is a gradual transition towards the "humpback" appearance, even when you’re trying to stand up straight. It can be caused by poor posture, osteoporosis, or other reasons.

Kyphosis can result in back pain and stiffness, and when the condition becomes severe, it can even compress certain organs and lead to additional health problems.

If you've been experiencing pain from poor posture at the office, call or click to book an appointment with Dr. Jones before today’s minor issues become tomorrow’s major problems.

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