What is Postural Overload?

Without good alignment, your head could be producing unnecessary strain on your neck, also known as postural overload. Postural overload is a major cause of negative health outcomes in people’s everyday and work lives.








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What is postural overload syndrome?
Postural syndrome is a condition of the lumbar and cervical spine that causes symptoms such as aches and pains in the neck, head, shoulders, lower back pain, and even hips and legs, normally from sustained poor posture. Poor posture is the positioning of your body that causes unnecessary strain.
What causes postural dysfunction?
As we get older, bad habits such as slouching and inactivity cause muscle fatigue and tension that ultimately lead to poor posture. The complications of poor posture include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and a potbelly.

What are postural problems?
Postural dysfunction or “Poor” posture is defined as when our spine is positioned in unnatural positions, in which the curves are emphasized and this results in the joints, muscles, and vertebrae being in stressful positions. This prolonged poor positioning results in a build-up of pressure on these tissues.
What are the signs of bad posture?
  • Rounded Shoulders. High-rounded shoulders are signs of poor posture, and it is common in office workers. …
  • Recurring Headaches. A variety of factors cause headaches, and bad posture is one of them. …
  • Tilted Pelvis. …
  • Back Pain and Neck Pain. …
  • Hunched Back.
How do you treat postural syndrome?
Postural syndrome can usually be addressed with lifestyle modifications and physical therapy to correct posture and spinal alignment, reducing pain and improving quality of life.



You usually experience:

  • Gradual onset of dull, achy pain and stiffness in the shoulder girdle, upper back, and neck
  • Pain may refer to the base of the head, shoulders, or chest
  • Pins and needles in the hands or fingers
  • Notable poor posture
  • Pain is better with activity and worse with prolonged sitting at a desk or computer










It is usually caused by:

  1. Poor posture
    • Slouching with forward head carriage
    • Rounding of the shoulder girdle
    • A straight neck curve
  2. Other mechanisms
    • Chronic overload of the muscles in the neck, mid-back, and/or lower back
    • Compressed Subclavian artery
    • Compressed brachial plexus which innervates the upper limb
    • Pressure on the nerve at the base of the skull which can cause headaches
    • Chronic traction on muscles can lead to muscle spasms, local pain, and trigger points

What is Muscle Imbalance?

Your body has muscles (or groups of muscles) that are attached to either side of a joint and work against one another to control the movement of the joint. It’s a bit like the handlebars of your bike: you can ride with one hand, but two hands working against each other gives you much better control.

When one side of the opposing muscles is stronger than the other, you have a muscle imbalance. For instance, if you regularly use the muscles on one side a lot more than the other, they get stronger muscles – and shorter and tighter. On the other side, the muscles get weaker – and longer and looser. The shorter, stronger muscles pull that part of your body out of position, and your whole body will end up making adjustments to compensate.

In the bicycle analogy, if one of your arms was slightly shorter than the other you would have to adjust your riding position slightly to keep riding in a straight line.

How long does it take to fix bad posture?
Thirty days can make a real difference in improving posture because research shows that it takes 3 to 8 weeks to establish a routine. This guide will help you establish a morning, night, and sitting routine that benefits your posture and body as a whole,” says Marina Mangano, founder of Chiro Yoga Flow.


Posture can affect your overall health and well-being in a number of ways

Muscles and bones: When your body is in a slouched position, stress is placed on certain bones, muscles, and ligaments. Your muscles start doing the majority of the work which may cause overload and muscle imbalances. When your muscles are doing most of the work, your bones will start to become weaker, and this can eventually lead to back pain, and can even contribute to osteoporosis.

Digestion:  Standing and sitting with good posture allows your internal organs to assume their natural position, allowing the natural flow and function of your gastrointestinal tract. Slouching has even been attributed to digestive issues such as acid reflux and hernias

Headaches: Tension headaches are another common side effect of poor posture. Office workers tend to experience more headaches simply because they are putting so much tension and strain on their bodies by sitting all day.

These headaches are commonly attributed to poorly set up workstations. To reduce the risk of tension headaches ensure that desks and monitors are at an appropriate height, chairs are supportive and computer accessories are ergonomically designed for comfort.

Mood:  When the body is slouched and constricted, it prevents it from working optimally which results in a poor mood.

When the body remains in a seated position for an extended period of time, all of your internal processes slow down. As a result, your energy levels decrease. You may start feeling irritable, tired or aggravated.

How can I maintain good posture?


When standing, maintaining a good postural position can be difficult. This is simply because the entire body is unsupported, and all of our muscles and joints have to work against gravity.

In order to maintain a good standing posture, be mindful of the following point:

  • Keep your head in the neutral position – ensure your chin isn’t too far forward and your earlobes are in approximate alignment with your shoulders.
  • Keep your shoulders pulled slightly backward – Don’t let your shoulders round and slump forward as this pulls on your upper back, pushes your head forward out of alignment, and causes stress to the shoulder joint.
  • If you are required to stand for a prolonged period of time, try shifting your weight from one foot to the other, or from your heels to your toes. This changes the distribution of your weight and gives your tissues a break from the position they have just been maintaining.


Sitting for long periods of time can affect our posture.

Be mindful of the following points when trying to maintain good sitting posture.

  • Keep your head in a neutral position
  • Keep your shoulders pulled back slightly
  • Avoid sitting in soft, squashy chairs for long periodsUse lumbar rolls to support your lower back when sitting in regular chairs or driving the car
  • Switch to ergonomic chairs, keyboard and mouse in the office or for any activity that requires you to sit for long periods of time
  • Ensure your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground. They may be slightly higher or lower depending on comfort and how well your chair can support you
  • Use a footrest wherever possible in order to keep your feet at a slight angle and maintain correct thigh position
  • GET UP and STRETCH every half hour or hour, if possible. This will give your body a break and allow your organs to get the oxygen they need.

If you are an office worker or are required to sit for prolonged periods, it is worthy to discuss your desk and ergonomic set up with someone qualified.



Discuss in-depth and look up research on postural overload related to muscle adhesions


As of my last knowledge update in September 2021, I can provide you with an in-depth discussion on postural overload and its potential relationship with muscle adhesions. Please note that I do not have access to current research beyond September 2021, so I won’t be able to provide you with the latest studies. However, I can certainly provide you with a comprehensive overview based on the information available up to that point.

Postural Overload and Muscle Adhesions: An Overview

Postural overload refers to the excessive strain placed on muscles, joints, and other structures due to prolonged or repetitive poor posture. Muscle adhesions, on the other hand, are areas of fibrous tissue that form between muscles, often as a result of injury, inflammation, or repetitive stress. Muscle adhesions can limit the range of motion, cause pain, and potentially contribute to dysfunction in the affected area.

The relationship between postural overload and muscle adhesions is complex and multifaceted. Prolonged or repetitive poor posture can lead to muscular imbalances, overuse of certain muscle groups, and excessive stress on specific tissues. Over time, this can contribute to the development of muscle adhesions. Here’s how the process might work:

  1. Muscle Imbalances: Poor posture often leads to muscle imbalances, where certain muscles become overactive and tight, while others become weak and inhibited. This imbalance can alter the biomechanics of movement and increase the risk of stress on specific muscles.
  2. Repetitive Stress: As individuals maintain poor posture for extended periods, certain muscle groups may be subjected to repetitive stress. This stress can cause microtrauma and inflammation within the muscles, promoting the formation of adhesions.
  3. Decreased Blood Flow: Prolonged muscle tension and poor circulation due to postural overload can lead to reduced blood flow to specific muscle groups. This decreased blood flow may hinder the body’s ability to repair and remodel damaged tissues, potentially contributing to the development of adhesions.
  4. Inflammatory Response: Inflammation is a natural response to tissue damage. Chronic inflammation resulting from postural overload can disrupt the normal healing process, increasing the likelihood of scar tissue formation and adhesion development.
  5. Limited Range of Motion: Muscle adhesions can restrict the normal gliding and sliding of muscle fibers. This limitation can lead to decreased joint mobility and further exacerbate postural issues, creating a feedback loop.











Research on Postural Overload and Muscle Adhesions

While I cannot access the latest research beyond September 2021, there is existing research that explores the relationship between postural overload and muscle adhesions:

  1. A study published in the “Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy” (2013) investigated the effects of prolonged static sitting on muscle flexibility and the potential development of adhesions. The researchers found that individuals who engaged in prolonged sitting exhibited reduced hamstring flexibility and increased muscle stiffness, which could contribute to adhesion formation over time.
  2. Another study in the “Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies” (2017) examined the impact of postural imbalances on the formation of fascial adhesions. The researchers concluded that poor posture can contribute to fascial restrictions and adhesions, potentially affecting movement quality and function.
  3. Research conducted by Chaitow and DeLany (2002) in their book “Clinical Application of Neuromuscular Techniques” discussed how poor posture and repetitive stress can contribute to the development of trigger points, which are hypersensitive areas within muscles that can lead to adhesions and restricted movement.

Please note that these are just a few examples of studies that discuss the potential relationship between postural overload and muscle adhesions. For the most current and comprehensive understanding, it’s important to consult recent research articles and studies from reliable sources.

In conclusion, postural overload can indeed contribute to the development of muscle adhesions through a combination of factors, including muscle imbalances, repetitive stress, decreased blood flow, and an altered inflammatory response. Addressing postural issues through proper ergonomics, exercise, and movement practices may help reduce the risk of muscle adhesion formation. If you’re seeking the latest research on this topic, I recommend consulting medical and scientific databases for recent studies and findings.

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*Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.
Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.
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