How Can Poor Posture Result In Your Back Pain?
Back pain is a common health concern that affects many people at one point or another in their lives. It has various causes including muscle strains, injuries and osteoporosis. More serious medical conditions can also cause back pain.
One of the most common causes of back pain, and the one we overlook the most often, is poor posture.
What Is Poor Posture?
In medical terms, poor posture is described as bad alignment and position of your body when you sit, stand, lay down or move. Often poor posture is a result of bad habits. Falling into bad habits is easy. We often neglect to check our posture.
Bad habits that can lead to poor posture include leaning and slouching. Twisting the spine in the wrong way when you exercise also leads to poor posture.
Bad posture is often something that develops over time. The main contributory factors to posture problems include:
- Sitting for prolonged periods of time
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Weak muscles
- Loss of muscle mass
- Badly designed furniture
- Degenerative physical changes
Can Poor Posture Cause Back Pain?
Poor posture can easily cause back pain. Prolonged exposure increases strain and stress on the spinal column as well as surrounding tissue. Muscle pain is often one of the first signs of posture problems.
If you notice that you experiencing muscle tightness, you should check your posture.
What Does Poor Posture Lead To?
Long-term posture problems can lead to a variety of health conditions. Some are serious, others less so.
The intervertebral disks in your spine act as shock absorbers for everything you do. When they become compressed or inflamed, you risk experiencing herniated disks.
This can affect the nerves in the spine and cause pain, soreness and weakness. It can also cause a tingling sensation which you may experience in your lower back or even your legs.
Reduced space in between the disks can also cause pain. The general term for this condition is called spinal stenosis. This condition causes bizarre symptoms including vertigo and dizziness.
Inflammation is also a source of pain. When surrounding tissue is inflamed, you can experience muscle spasms and stiffness.
How Do I Know If Poor Posture Is the Reason For My Back Pain?
Back pain caused by posture problems is not always easy to put your finger on. It is important to identify the link between posture and pain.
If you suspect your posture is causing your back pain, there are a few things you should check.
New Exercise Or Activity
Have you started a new job recently? If so, you may find that you are moving in a different way or even sitting for longer periods of time.
When you sit for extended periods of time, it is important to have access to an ergonomic chair and desk. Check your posture and make sure that your spine and the rest of your body is aligned.
Are sudden movements causing you pain? Pain in the legs, buttocks or hips is a sign that you may be experiencing problems with poor posture.
Are you experiencing pain at certain times of the day? For instance, when you experience pain getting out of bed in the morning, you may be sleeping in the wrong position. Using a back support when sleeping can help you to correct this.
Problems with balance, vertigo and dizziness also indicate that you should check your posture.
When you suspect your back pain is linked to posture, it is important that you get a diagnosis. Doctors are great but many say patients benefit from visiting a chiropractor or osteopath instead.
Your healthcare professional will use a range of diagnostic techniques including a physical examination. They may also arrange for you to have additional tests such as X-rays and MRI scans. Your medical history will also be consulted to ensure the best treatment option can be found.
How To Improve Poor Posture?
Most importantly, it is important to acknowledge you have a problem with poor posture. Once you have done that, you need to find ways in which you can improve your posture.
If your back pain is a result of sitting down or working in the wrong position, it is best to take a look at what ergonomic tools you can use. An ergonomic chair helps but at the same time, you may want to consider a posture corrector.
Exercising also helps to improve posture problems. Beneficial exercise formats include yoga, pilates and tai-chi. Walking and swimming are two excellent ways of increasing your aerobic fitness while improving your posture.
Don’t forget how important it is to check your living environment. For instance, when was the last time you changed your mattress? Are you sitting comfortably in front of your TV? Perhaps your sofa or favourite armchair has seen better days.
Strengthening your core muscles helps you to achieve better posture. If going to the gym is not your thing, there are plenty of exercise videos on platforms including YouTube that may help you.
If you sit down for extended periods of time, make sure you take frequent breaks. Go for a stretch or simply go for a walk.
When you have serious problems with posture, you are going to need professional help. Regular visits to a chiropractor or osteopath can reduce the risk of posture problems. You should also look into other options such as the Alexander Technique which can rapidly help you to improve your posture.
Problems with poor posture are common. Most of the time, we can help ourselves and prevent posture problems.
If you find you are experiencing back pain, it is important that you find out what is going on. Most back issues are easy to fix, but there are occasions when you may have a more serious problem which may need medical intervention.
Brought to you by Your Back Pain Relief