Posture is essentially the correct position of the spine. The spine should naturally curve into an S-shape to prevent excess stress on other parts of the body and to prevent damage to the spine itself. The connection between posture and health is quite intricate; if one part of the spine is out of position, it may cause pain in another part of the body, which may in turn cause a person to move unnaturally. The unnatural movement can cause undue stress on yet another part of the body, and so on. Maintaining good posture and health often boil down to many of the same practices.
Many sufferers of poor posture and health suffer because of practices in their daily lives that do not adequately support the spine. Sitting in a chair for long periods of time, for example, can lead to excess strain on the neck and shoulders as well as the lower back. People who live a sedentary lifestyle will suffer from poor posture and health because the muscles that support the spine are not being used regularly and are therefore not adequately strengthened and toned. An analysis of one's daily routines will just about always reveal several practices that have negative impacts on posture and health, and many of those practices can easily be modified to alleviate pain and promote better health.
To improve posture, and by extension overall health, posture correcting devices such as posture braces and ergonomic chairs are available. To improve posture without spending any money, however, one can begin participating in a regular exercise routine. The routine should focus particularly on strengthening the core muscles, which are the muscles of the lower back, stomach, groin, and hips. These muscles have a significant impact on the health of the spine, and stronger muscles means more support for the spine in general.
Poor posture can lead to health issues that can include herniated discs in the spine, nerve issues such as sciatica, and muscle strains. Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back and down the back of each leg becomes compressed, leading to sharp pains, numbness, tingling, or a feeling of weakness anywhere in the affected region. Herniated discs can sometimes be a cause of sciatica. This condition occurs when a spinal disc ruptures, thereby compressing on any number of nerves that run near the spine.