Effects of Posture on Physiology

American Journal of Pain Management

Postural and Respiratory Modulation of Autonomic Function, Pain, and Health
John Lennon, BM, MM, C. Norman Sheeley, MD, Roger K. Cady, MD
William Matta, PhD, Richard Cox, PhD and William F. Simpson, PhD

AJPM 1994: 4:36-39 (American Journal of Pain Management)

Despite considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians. In fact, neither comprehensive postural nor structural evaluation is a routine part of training in physical diagnosis, and most osteopathic physicians do not describe postural/spinal mechanics in their usual patient evaluations.

Observation of the striking influence of postural mechanics on function and symptomatology have led to our hypothesis that posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to normal hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.  The most significant influences of posture are upon respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic function. Ultimately, it appears that homeostasis and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture.  The corollary that these observations that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture.