Adverse effects of an improper posture on the spine

July 03, 2019

Posture refers to the way an individual holds alignment of spine in the body with all its adjoining structures including every single movement of that individual. Poor posture put your spine under a great deal of pressure. Over 80% of the population experience a back problem at some point of time in their lives. These spinal curve changes not only cause long-term pain and discomfort, but it can also prevent the spine from absorbing shock and maintenance of proper balance naturally.

There are no immediate ill-effects felt, However, over a period of time the stress on the spine could lead to changes in the anatomy. Constriction of the blood vessels and nerves can provoke back pain. Shoulder, neck and back pain are the most noticeable common effects of poor posture. A great deal of stress on upper body occurs while sitting in a slouched position not properly supported for an extended period of time.

The spinal cord is a column that controls the movements of nerves connecting the brain with the rest of the body. There cannot be any function or movement in any part of our body organs Without a spinal cord. Therefore, it is essential to maintain the spine health for an active life.

Long Term Effects of Poor Posture

  • Negative effects like change in Spinal Curve is the most prominent.
  • It also has a negative impact on the digestion and digestive organs.
  • Cardiovascular system has an adverse effect.
  • Varicose Veins.
  • Back Pain.

In addition, poor posture can cause a lot of muscular stress leading to back pain and pain in the discs, joints causing the following

Spinal Curvature

Serious issues that can occur with bad posture is developing a spinal curvature. the human spine has four natural curves that make up an "s" shape. When bad posture is practised, the spine can experience pressure, influencing the spine curves to change their positions slowly. The spine has been designed specifically to absorb shock and maintain the body balance, when there are changes in the spinal position, this ability becomes compromised.


Subluxations occur when the spinal curve is altered, vertebral subluxations are a major problem when the vertebrae become misaligned from the rest of the spine. The overall integrity of the rest of the spinal column is affected eventually causing misalignments leading to chronic health problems including stress and irritation of surrounding spinal nerves.

Blood Vessel Constriction

The constriction of the blood vessels around the spine can cut off blood supply to the cells of the muscles, which can affect nutrient and oxygen supply. Blood vessel constriction can also raise your chances of clot formation and issues with deep vein thrombosis.

Nerve Constriction

One of the most common side effects of bad posture is nerve constriction. As the spine changes in shape, the resulting movements or subluxations can put pressure on the surrounding spinal nerves. The nerves connect to the spine come from all over the body, any stressed and pinched nerves would cause neck and back pain and pain in unrelated areas of the body.


Stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal. Stenosis can press on the spinal cord and nerves and cause pain and other symptoms. This can cause pain, numbness, weakness and other problems throughout your body. Common examples include leg or arm pain when problems are related to the lower spine or neck.

Simple tips to help keep your spine as healthy as possible:

  • Let your spine really rest while sleeping.
  • Exercise your core to strengthen abs and back muscles.
  • Your shoes need to support your spine.
  • Enjoy the benefits of massage.
  • Practice good ergonomics while sitting—and limit total sitting time.
  • Correct your posture.

It becomes imperative to start practising Good posture on a daily basis. Training the body to stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions ensuring that the strain and stress is a must.

A constant nagging back pain or spreading of pain to the legs is not to be ignored or taken lightly, an advice of a medical practitioner would help us lead a happy and safe life.


Dr. Avinash K.M (Senior Consultant - Neurosurgery & Interventional Neurosurgery)

Columbia Asia Hospital Hebbal

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