Are you experiencing back pain recently and aren’t really sure of the cause? Unfortunately, there can be a lot of different reasons for why someone may begin experiencing back pain. It can be related to an accident or injury, such as a car accident or a slip-and-fall, or from a wide range of medical conditions like arthristis or osteoporosis. But what if you are experiencing back pain but haven’t recently been in an accident, or haven’t recently suffered an injury, and you are also fairly certain that you don’t have any other underlying health issues that could be causing it? Well, then perhaps it is time to take a look at how your posture may be the reason why you are now experiencing back pain.
Bad or poor posture is where certain muscles tighten up or shorten, while others become longer and weaker, mainly caused by routinely performing everyday activities incorrectly. If you are unsure what bad posture is, then here are some of the most common posture mistakes that people make;
- Slouching or slumping while sitting on a chair or the couch.
- Lying down on your belly while reading a book in bed or working on your laptop.
- Lifting heavy objects off the floor by bending your back instead of using your legs, be careful as this can also cause some serious injuries!
- Hunching your back while working at your desk or even driving.
- Sometimes called “text neck”, the bad posture of your neck that can come from looking down at a mobile device.
- Rounding your shoulders. Rounded shoulders is used to describe a shoulder position that has moved forward from the natural alignment.
- Leaning and putting all of your pressure on one leg. This added strain to the muscles can cause pain in the lower back region.
- Poking your chin out. This is another common mistake people often make when working on their laptop or computer.
- Standing with your pelvis tucked in, a “flat back”, instead of allowing your spine to naturally curve.
- Using your shoulder to hold your phone. Holding your phone up to your ear with your shoulder can place strain on the muscles and soft tissue.
These are just a few of the activities that can lead to poor posture and back pain. If you perform any of these activities, or possibly even some that are not mentioned on this list, and are also suffering from back pain, then poor posture may likely be the cause.
When we use bad or incorrect posture, it places added stress on different areas of the body. It can affect muscle tissues, our joints, the discs in our spine and the overall alignment of our spine. A sedentary lifestyle or low physical activity can also add extra stress to our body, the spine, and our muscles. Though bad posture may not immediately lead to back pain, and sometimes it may even feel more comfortable to slouch or bend over while working, eventually that added stress is likely to cause you some serious trouble.
Poor posture or slouching can lead to tension and pain, not only in your back but in your spine and shoulders as well. Also, as mentioned before, it puts extra strain on your back, neck, and spine. This added stress can lead to the overcompensation of other muscles and it can eventually physically change the shape of the spine and the structure of your back. Poor posture can lead to a misaligned spine, which in turn can end up causing a whole list of different issues. For example, “Donald Duck” posture, which is where you stand with your butt sticking out, can lead to pronounced curvature of the lower back. Which will ultimately cause a number of issues and symptoms like back pain. These changes can lead to nerve damage as well if left untreated or unmanaged.
While poor posture can cause issues like back pain and physical changes like a misaligned spine, there are some ways that you can correct your posture to help alleviate some of the pain that has been caused by the added stress.
- Examine the set-up of your desk or work area. A lot of people make the mistake of placing their monitor below their eye level, looking down at their screen for hours at a time. In order to ensure proper posture, place your monitor directly at eye level. You will also want to make sure that you are not sitting too high or too low when working at your desk.
- Sit up straight. I’m sure we have all been told to sit up straight at one point in our lives or another by a teacher or close relative. Well, who knew how helpful that advice actually was! Keeping your back flush with the back of your chair, your knees even with your hips, and your feet flat on the floor will help you maintain proper posture.
- Walk Tall. It is good to imagine a string is attached to the top of your head and to walk as if someone is pulling straight up on it. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart as your arms relax by your sides, distributing your weight evenly as you walk.
- Try to avoid sleeping on your stomach. If you can, it is best to avoid sleeping on your stomach. It is also ideal to place a pillow between your legs if you are sleeping or lying on your side, as this will help to correct the alignment of the spine.
These are just a few ways you can help correct your posture, especially if you feel like it is causing your back pain. It may also be a good idea to contact a medical health professional if you are still having pain related to bad posture. Chiropractic is a great way to help correct the damage done by bad posture. Call us today at Thrive Chiropractic so that we can help you with your posture and your back pain.