“Many individuals attribute, to some degree, their neck or back pain to unhealthy posture. Can knowing the causes and underlying factors help guide lifestyle adjustments and seeking medical rehabilitative treatment?”

Unhealthy Posture: What Causes It and How to Counteract It

Unhealthy Posture Causes

Numerous factors can cause individuals to practice unhealthy postures regularly.

Practicing healthy posture is a form of exercise where the muscles support the skeleton in stable and efficient alignment that is present in stillness and movement.

Injury and Muscle Guarding

  • After an injury, muscles can spasm to protect the body and help stabilize injuries and protect against further injury.
  • However, movements become limited and can lead to pain symptoms.
  • Prolonged muscle spasms lead to weakened muscles over time.
  • The imbalance between muscles guarding the injury and those still operating normally can lead to posture problems.
  • Musculoskeletal treatment with massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy can help restore optimal functioning.

Muscle Tension and Weakness

  • If certain muscle groups become weak or tense, posture can be affected, and pain symptoms can develop.
  • Muscle weakness or tension can develop when individuals hold a prolonged position day after day or when performing routine tasks and chores in a way that places tension on the muscles or uses them in an unbalanced way.
  • A study found how muscle tension, strength, and flexibility affect posture. Dariusz Czaprowski, et al., 2018)
  • Postural retraining and physical therapy adjustments can help strengthen the muscles and relieve pain symptoms.

Daily Habits

  • As individuals find ways to accommodate muscle spasms, weakness, tension, and/or imbalances, the mind and body can forget and abandon healthy posture.
  • The body then begins compensating using alternate, awkward, and counterproductive muscle contractions and stretching that compromise body and spinal alignment.

Use of Technology

  • Technology – whether sitting at a desk/workstation, using a tablet or cell phone, or working with several devices can gradually shift the body out of alignment. (Parisa Nejati, et al., 2015)
  • Individuals constantly looking down at their phone may develop a text neck, a condition in which the neck is held in flexion or forward tilting too long, which can lead to pain.

Mental Attitude and Stress

  • Individuals under stress or are experiencing stressful situations can begin to have posture problems. (Shwetha Nair et al., 2015)
  • Stress can contribute to over-contracting muscles, which can cause muscle tension, shallow breathing, posture problems, and pain symptoms.
  • Being aware of body position and correcting and adjusting posture can help to counteract stress. (Shwetha Nair et al., 2015)

Footwear Choice and They Are Worn

  • Footwear can affect body posture.
  • High heels shift the body’s weight forward, which can cause misalignment. (Anniele Martins Silva, et al., 2013)
  • Wearing down the outside or inside of the shoes faster from things like weight-bearing habits will imbalance kinetic forces that translate up the ankle, knee, hip, and lower back leading to pain symptoms in any or all of these joints.

Heredity and Genetics

  • Sometimes the cause is hereditary.
  • For example, Scheuermann’s disease is a condition in which adolescent males develop a pronounced kyphosis curve in the thoracic spine. (Nemours. KidsHealth. 2022)

Consult Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic for an evaluation, and let us help you by developing a personalized treatment and rehabilitation program.

The Path To Healing


Czaprowski, D., Stoliński, Ł., Tyrakowski, M., Kozinoga, M., & Kotwicki, T. (2018). Non-structural misalignments of body posture in the sagittal plane. Scoliosis and spinal disorders, 13, 6. doi.org/10.1186/s13013-018-0151-5

Nejati, P., Lotfian, S., Moezy, A., & Nejati, M. (2015). The study of correlation between forward head posture and neck pain in Iranian office workers. International journal of occupational medicine and environmental health, 28(2), 295–303. doi.org/10.13075/ijomeh.1896.00352

Nair, S., Sagar, M., Sollers, J., 3rd, Consedine, N., & Broadbent, E. (2015). Do slumped and upright postures affect stress responses? A randomized trial. Health psychology : official journal of the Division of Health Psychology, American Psychological Association, 34(6), 632–641. doi.org/10.1037/hea0000146

Silva, A. M., de Siqueira, G. R., & da Silva, G. A. (2013). Implications of high-heeled shoes on body posture of adolescents. Revista paulista de pediatria : orgao oficial da Sociedade de Pediatria de Sao Paulo, 31(2), 265–271. doi.org/10.1590/s0103-05822013000200020

Nemours. KidsHealth. (2022). Scheuermann’s kyphosis.

Professional Scope of Practice *

The information herein on "Unhealthy Posture: What Causes It and How to Counteract It" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.

Blog Information & Scope Discussions

Our information scope is limited to Chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, contributing etiological viscerosomatic disturbances within clinical presentations, associated somatovisceral reflex clinical dynamics, subluxation complexes, sensitive health issues, and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions.

We provide and present clinical collaboration with specialists from various disciplines. Each specialist is governed by their professional scope of practice and their jurisdiction of licensure. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for the injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system.

Our videos, posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate to and directly or indirectly support our clinical scope of practice.*

Our office has reasonably attempted to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We provide copies of supporting research studies available to regulatory boards and the public upon request.

We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation of how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez, DC, or contact us at 915-850-0900.

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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN*, CCST, IFMCP*, CIFM*, ATN*

email: coach@elpasofunctionalmedicine.com

Licensed as a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) in Texas & New Mexico*
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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Dr. Alex Jimenez
Specialties: Stopping the PAIN! We Specialize in Treating Severe Sciatica, Neck-Back Pain, Whiplash, Headaches, Knee Injuries, Sports Injuries, Dizziness, Poor Sleep, Arthritis. We use advanced proven therapies focused on optimal Mobility, Posture Control, Deep Health Instruction, Integrative & Functional Medicine, Functional Fitness, Chronic Degenerative Disorder Treatment Protocols, and Structural Conditioning. We also integrate Wellness Nutrition, Wellness Detoxification Protocols and Functional Medicine for chronic musculoskeletal disorders. We use effective "Patient Focused Diet Plans", Specialized Chiropractic Techniques, Mobility-Agility Training, Cross-Fit Protocols, and the Premier "PUSH Functional Fitness System" to treat patients suffering from various injuries and health problems. Ultimately, I am here to serve my patients and community as a Chiropractor passionately restoring functional life and facilitating living through increased mobility. Purpose & Passions: I am a Doctor of Chiropractic specializing in progressive cutting-edge therapies and functional rehabilitation procedures focused on clinical physiology, total health, functional strength training, functional medicine, and complete conditioning. We focus on restoring normal body functions after neck, back, spinal and soft tissue injuries. We use Specialized Chiropractic Protocols, Wellness Programs, Functional & Integrative Nutrition, Agility & Mobility Fitness Training and Cross-Fit Rehabilitation Systems for all ages. As an extension to dynamic rehabilitation, we too offer our patients, disabled veterans, athletes, young and elder a diverse portfolio of strength equipment, high-performance exercises and advanced agility treatment options. We have teamed up with the cities' premier doctors, therapist and trainers in order to provide high-level competitive athletes the options to push themselves to their highest abilities within our facilities. We've been blessed to use our methods with thousands of El Pasoans over the last 3 decades allowing us to restore our patients' health and fitness while implementing researched non-surgical methods and functional wellness programs. Our programs are natural and use the body's ability to achieve specific measured goals, rather than introducing harmful chemicals, controversial hormone replacement, un-wanted surgeries, or addictive drugs. We want you to live a functional life that is fulfilled with more energy, a positive attitude, better sleep, and less pain. Our goal is to ultimately empower our patients to maintain the healthiest way of living. With a bit of work, we can achieve optimal health together, no matter the age, ability or disability.