Reducing Postural Hypertension Helps You Live Longer.
It was discovered that an increased curvature of the mid-back produces higher mortality rates in the elderly.
- Dr. Ann Jenkins
Postural Hypertension: The Silent Killer.
Posture influences many body functions: Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture. When you have poor posture more pressure is put on the spine, which creates postural hypertension & causes all measures of health to be significantly reduced including mortality.
Rene Cailliet, director of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Southern California, concluded that forward head posture can add up to 30 lbs. of abnormal leverage on the spine & reduce lung capacity by as much as 30 percent, which can lead to postural hypertension; and heart and blood vascular disease. He determined a relationship between forward head posture and the digestive system, as well as a relationship between posture and endorphin production affecting pain and the experience of pain.
Posture affects how you look and how you feel but it can have more profound effects as well. A study in 2004 reported that bad posture can increase mortality. It was discovered that an increased curvature of the mid-back produces higher mortality rates in the elderly. This is a by product of postural hypertension.
Remember the days when grandma would tell us to sit up straight? Well, it is time to check her posture as well to make sure she is not creating any unnecessary risk.
The most dramatic study, though, comes from England, where it was found that loss of height from poor posture increases the risk of heart disease. The British Regional Heart Study scientists found that men who lost 3 cm in height were 64 percent more likely to die of a heart attack than those who lost less than 1 cm. Over the 20-year period of the study, men lost an average of 1.67 cm. That height loss was associated with a 42 percent increase in risk of heart attacks, even in men who had no history of cardiovascular disease - just poor posture.
Posture is an extremely important indicator of health and one that is poorly addressed by the present model of health care. In a world of incredible technological advances and access to information it is puzzling to see something so obvious and so overlooked. Poor posture and postural hypertension is easily prevented by a targeted posture re-balancing program.
- Dr. Ann Jenkins