Can Your Bad Posture Be Killing You?


Have someone take a picture of your posture from the side…do you see Bad Neck Posture as shown in the image above?  Do you see a hump on the upper part of your back?  If you draw a straight line down from your ear, does it fall in front of the middle of your shoulder?

If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these three questions – the quality or quantity of your life span may be shortened.

The fact is that your posture can be one of the biggest signs of disease without you knowing.  In fact, research has shown that decreased blood flow from abnormal posture is a major factor in all disease, including cancer (Reich W.The Discovery of the Orgone. New York; The Noonday Press, 197.)

The Sealy Institute has found that posture affects and moderates every physical function of the body!  The Sealy Institute has made observations of the striking influence posture mechanics has on function and symptomatology that has led to their hypothesis that posture effects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production.  Spinal pain, blood pressure, headaches, pulse, lung capacity and mood are only a small portion of the body’s functions that are most easily influenced by posture.

The most significant influences of posture are upon respiration, oxygenation, and nerve function. Ultimately, it appears that homeostasis (balance) and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture. The corollary of these observations is that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improving posture (J Lennon, BM, MM, C N Sealy, MD, R K Cady, MD, W Matta,PhD, R Cox, PhD, and W F Simpson, PhD, “Postural and Respiratory Modulation of Autonomic Function, Pain andHealth”. AJPM Vol. 4 No.1 January 1994 pp 36-39. BM, MM, C N Sealy, MD, R K Cady, MD, W Matta, PhD, R Cox, PhD, and W F Simpson, PhD, “Postural and Respiratory Modulation of Autonomic Function, Pain and Health”. AJPM Vol. 4 No.1 January 1994 pp 36-39).

Dr. Rene Cailliet, Director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Southern California, reached the following conclusions regarding the mechanical derangement of both hard and soft tissues of the spine and the patients’ posture:

1. Lordotic curves of the cervical and lumbar spine are necessary for normal spinal function.

2. With a forward-extended head posture, normal lordosis is lost in both the cervical and lumbar spine, which in turn mechanically blocks optimal spinal function.

3. Head forward posture can add up to thirty (30) pounds of abnormal leverage on the spine; therefore, abnormal position of the head can pull the entire spine out of alignment.

4. Forward head posture results in loss of vital capacity. This is seen by the Lung capacity is depleted by as much as 30%. Shortness of breath can then lead to heart and blood vascular disease.

5. The entire gastrointestinal system is affected; particularly the large intestine. Loss of good bowel parastolic function and evacuation are a common sequel to forward head posture with loss of spinal curvatures.

6. Forward head posture with loss of cervical lordosis causes an increase in discomfort and pain. Motions of the first four cervical vertebrae are blocked. Normal movement of these vertebrae is a necessary stimulus for endorphin production by the brain and spinal cord. With inadequate endorphin production, many otherwise non-painful sensations are experienced as pain.

7. Forward head position alters head-spine posture and stance, as well as ones gait and body motions. One becomes hunched. The entire body becomes rigid and all body motions are lessened. The better the posture, the better one looks and feels (Cailliet R, M.D., Gross L, Rejuvenation Strategy. New York, Doubleday Co. 1987).

Also, Dr. Alf Alfred Breig (a neurosurgeon and Nobel Prize recipient) discovered that a loss of the cervical curve can stretch the spinal cord 5 to 7 cm and produce pathological tension, putting the body in a state of disease.  Also, every inch of forward head posture can increase the weight of the head on the spine by an additional 10 pounds (Kapandji, Physiology of Th e Joints, Vol. 3).

In addition, further spinal research has concluded that:

1. Posture affects all human functions, both consciously and unconsciously, from breathing to thinking.

2. Posture affects breathing and vital capacity, as well as influences vocal sounds. If sound is not optimally vocalized, the individual does not experience vocal expression.

3. Posture reflects mind and body interaction. Inefficient posture and resultant poor breathing eventually leads to pathologic dysfunction.

4. People with good posture ventilate and oxygenate their bodies optimally. These people sit and stand straight and tall. They invariably exude vitality and project a commanding vocal presence. That elusive attribute referred to as charisma appears to be a state of mind reflected in the visual and audible presence of individuals with properly adjusted posture.

5. Correct spinal position and correct posture allow physical activities that improve mental and physical health and feelings of well being. Feeling of mental and physical well being appears to encourage the person to further exude confidence that is reflected in their posture, stance and gait.


Take a few moments to read through our patient Success Stories and you will see that Dr. Matthew Eisen and the Enhanced Wellness team have experience in helping patients live life to the fullest. If you are ready to try a new approach today in maintaining your health and wellness, then contact us at (770) 552-7500 to make an appointment.

Dr_Matthew_Eisen“Dr. Matt” as he is known to his patients, is in private practice, an author, nationally sought after speaker, visionary, Maximized Living Doctor of Chiropractic and health ambassador to the general public as he educates and empowers others about true health and well-being.  He works out of two health clinics in Roswell and Johns Creek, GA (both are just north of Atlanta) and has over 11 years of clinical experience.  You can reach him at

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