Bad Posture Results in Bad Health

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Bad Posture Results in Bad Health

Bad posture is a modern day health epidemic that is much worse than most people naturally assume.  Posture is the window into your spine.  The spine has a powerful relationship with the brain, spinal cord, and overall organ function.  This intimate connection means that bad posture and spinal health will lead to an overall decrease in brain and organ function.

Nobel Prize recipient Dr. Roger Sperry says that the spine is the motor that drives the brain.  According to his research “90% of the stimulation and nutrition to the brain is generated by the movement of the spine.”  Only 10% of our brain’s energy goes into thinking, metabolism, immunity, and healing.  Sperry demonstrated that 90% of brain energy goes into processing and maintaining the body’s relationship with gravity (1).

Loss of Natural Curves Affects Health:

One of the worst types of health problems people experience is a loss of the natural curves of their spine (2, 3, 4).  Ideally, we should have a 40-45 degree curve in our neck that many chiropractors & neurosurgeons refer to as “the arc of life.”  This curve helps to protect the brain stem and the spinal canal for the spinal cord and nerves that travel to every region of our body.

Subluxation is the term for misalignments of the spine that cause compression and irritation of nerve pathways affecting organ systems of the body (5, 6).  Subluxations can manifest as pain, but since only a small portion of spinal nerves transmit pain sensations they are often unnoticeable by the individual.

Losing the arc of life in the neck, forward head posture, and scoliosis are three of the most dangerous forms of subluxation.  These are all the result of bad posture over time.


The Formation of Subluxation:

Subluxation patterns such as forward head posture and loss of the neck curve are most often created by trauma and/or bad posture. Examples of trauma include the birth process (especially with forceps delivery), falls, car accidents, & sporting activities.

The typical individual in our society today spends at least 3-4 hours a day slumped in front of a television, computer, and texting on a cell phone.  These behaviors cause the head to shift forward and create a lasting posture pattern called forward head posture (7).

This ‘forward head posture’ can add up to 30 pounds of abnormal leverage pulling the entire spine out of alignment and may result in the loss of 30% of vital lung capacity.” says University of California’s director of physical medicine and rehabilitation, Rene Cailliet (8).

Forward Head Posture Affects Oxygenation:

As forward head posture decreases lung capacity it affects the body from effectively oxygenating cells.  This can lead to asthmatic conditions, blood vessel problems and heart disease (9, 10, 11, 12). The oxygen deficit affects the entire gastrointestinal system leading to altered nutrient absorption and peristaltic activity.

Lowered oxygen states also decrease endorphin production turning the perception of non-painful sensation into pain experiences (13).  This explains how bad posture can result in increased perception of pain throughout the body.

Corrective Chiropractic Care:

Studies have shown that corrective based chiropractic care effectively reduces forward head posture and enhances the arc of life (14).  A 2009 study by Morningstar and Jockers showed that this corrective process dramatically enhanced lung function (15).

As the respiration process improves more oxygen gets into the body.  This improves blood flow into every organ system of the body dramatically improving overall function .

Corrective Care Chiropractic:

Corrective care chiropractors specialize in techniques that reduce or eliminate forward head posture and restore the natural curves of the body.  These corrective chiropractors are able to demonstrate these changes to the individual with pre-post x-rays, nerve scans, postural pictures and other technology.

This is done through gentle & specific adjustments that take pressure off of the brain stem and nerve pathways and enhance function to the body.  Corrective rehabilitative exercises are prescribed to address postural abnormalities & create lasting objective postural and x-ray changes.

bad posture

Sources For This Article Include:

1. Roger Wolcott Sperry Link Here
2. Grob D, Frauenfelder H, Mannion AF. The association between cervical spine curvature and neck pain. European Spine Journal. 2007;16(5):669-678.
3. Zhang YT, Wang X, Zhan HS. [Measurement and clinical significance of cervical lordosis]. Zhongguo Gu Shang. 2014 Dec;27(12):1062-4. PMID: 25638900
4. Shimizu K, Nakamura M, Nishikawa Y, Hijikata S, Chiba K, Toyama Y. Spinal kyphosis causes demyelination and neuronal loss in the spinal cord: a new model of kyphotic deformity using juvenile Japanese small game fowls. Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 2005 Nov 1;30(21):2388-92. PMID: 16261114
5. Owens EF. Chiropractic subluxation assessment: what the research tells us. The Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association. 2002;46(4):215-220.
6. Models of Vertebral Subluxation:A Review Link Here
7. Hanten WP, Olson SL, Russell JL, Lucio RM, Campbell AH. Total head excursion and resting head posture: normal and patient comparisons. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2000 Jan;81(1):62-6. PMID: 10638878
8. Forward Head Posture Link Here
9. Kado DM, Huang MH, Barrett-Connor E, Greendale GA. Hyperkyphotic posture and poor physical functional ability in older community-dwelling men and women: the Rancho Bernardo study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2005 May;60(5):633-7. PMID: 15972617
10. Ozbek MM, Miyamoto K, Lowe AA, Fleetham JA. Natural head posture, upper airway morphology and obstructive sleep apnoea severity in adults. Eur J Orthod. 1998 Apr;20(2):133-43. PMID: 9633167
11. Okuro RT, Morcillo AM, Ribeiro MÂ, Sakano E, Conti PB, Ribeiro JD. Mouth breathing and forward head posture: effects on respiratory biomechanics and exercise capacity in children. J Bras Pneumol. 2011 Jul-Aug;37(4):471-9. PMID: 21881737
12. Kado DM, Lui L-Y, Ensrud KE, et al. Hyperkyphosis predicts mortality independent of vertebral osteoporosis in older women. Annals of internal medicine. 2009;150(10):681-687.
13. Silva AG, Punt TD, Sharples P, Vilas-Boas JP, Johnson MI. Head posture and neck pain of chronic nontraumatic origin: a comparison between patients and pain-free persons. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009 Apr;90(4):669-74. PMID: 19345785
14. Morningstar M. Cervical curve restoration and forward head posture reduction for the treatment of mechanical thoracic pain using the pettibon corrective and rehabilitative procedures. Journal of Chiropractic Medicine. 2002;1(3):113-115.
15. Improvement in Forward Head Posture, Cervical Lordosis, and Pulmonary Function with Chiropractic Care, Anterior Head Weighting and Whole Body Vibration: A Retrospective Study Link Here

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Dr. Jockers

Dr David Jockers is passionate about seeing people reach their health potential in mind, body and spirit. He is the host of the popular “Dr Jockers Functional Nutrition” podcast and the author of the best-selling books, “The Keto Metabolic Breakthrough” and “The Fasting Transformation.”


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  1. I just want to say thank you for these articles on posture. I have been having upper spine pain that radiates through my entire back. I have also been having more breathing and digestive problems and now I see why. Thank you so much. I am going to try to start doing what I should for my posture. Thank you so much.

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