How Our Posture Has Changed Over the Years

Did you know that our postural changes include height loss? And that: “height loss is related to aging changes in our bones, muscles & joints [along with associated pain]. People typically lose almost half an inch (about 1 centimetre), every 10 years after age 40. Height loss is even more rapid after age 70. In fact, we could lose a total of 1 to 3 inches (2.5 to 7.5 centimetres) in height as we age” [1]. To that end, visiting a Pain Specialist could be highly beneficial for anyone experiencing pain due to these physiological changes

Why Does Our Posture Change With Age?

In a nutshell, aging has a knock-on effect to three main ‘systems,’ that are responsible for our posture:
• The vertebrae (column of bones) in our spine
• The intervertebral disks (that act as cushions between our vertebrae)
• The muscles [3].

The Negative Effects of the Hand of Time

The three most common effects comprise:

Bone loss: can result in osteoporosis and osteopenia (its milder form), cause vertebrae to shrink a little, become less dense, and lose calcium. Furthermore, when the bones are weakened, this scenario can add to postural problems.

Disk shrinkage: the squishy interior and rubbery exterior of our spinal disks begin to dry out. This culminates in the spinal bones edging closer together, which has a negative impact on the way we move.

Muscle loss: even though our muscles help to maintain our torsos in an upright position, and support our spine, we nonetheless, tend to lose muscle mass as we get older [3].

The Importance of Correcting Poor Posture

When poor posture leads to disc compression, the vertebrae in our back absorbs more force than it should. This can lead to chronic pain. Moreover, the compressed discs can impinge the nerves that are situated close to the spine. When this occurs, our nociceptors (sensory receptors that are activated by noxious stimuli that damage or threaten the body’s integrity), go into action. Studies indicate that activation of nociceptors not only transmit pain signals to our brain, it also negatively impacts other regions of our body. – Our digestive system, lung and heart all become less efficient.

Fortunately, these days, there are multiple types of treatment (both conventional, and cutting-edge), that can help the aforementioned. So make an appointment with a Pain Specialist as soon as possible, so that they can given you an accurate diagnosis, and put you on a Personalised Treatment Plan.

Your Pain Consultant will explain everything to you in layman’s terms, and be more than happy to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have.


[1]. Medline Plus (2022). “Aging changes in body shape.”,in%20height%20as%20you%20age.

[2]. Patterson et al. (2021). “Electronics: The Enemy of Posture and How to Protect Yourself.” Frontiers For Young Minds.

[3]. Cristol, H. (2021). “Posture Changes in Older Adults.” Compass by WebMD.