Posted by Kevin Category: Blog
Back Pain As a Result of Bad Posture
Back pain is probably one of the most common injuries among people and having bad posture is a contributing factor. Humans are designed to stand straight up in perfect alignment to achieve the natural curves of the spine. The average adult head weighs 10 to 12 pounds, but standing with the head slightly tilted forward or backwards will build up a lot of stress on the cervical spine over time. Sitting long hours at the computer or always slouching will also add stress to the spine and tighten muscles in the shoulders and chest area. When these muscles become tight, it’s very likely that over time the anatomical characteristics of the spine will change and become abnormal, leading to potential constricted blood vessels and nerves, and muscles, discs, and joints being impaired.
It’s important that we train our body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on the muscles and ligaments that are used during movements or weight-bearing activities. Let’s imagine what good posture should look like. If you were to stand with your back against a wall, the back of your head, shoulders, upper back, and glutes should be touching the wall. You should also be able to place one hand width between your lower back and the wall. This posture ensures that the spine is in alignment and its natural curvature is balanced. This may feel uncomfortable at first due to the demanding lifestyles of people in this day and age; that’s why standing with good posture is lost. There are huge benefits that come from practicing good posture. It will help keep bones and joints in the correct alignment so that muscles are being used properly in order to prevent injury and strains. Having good posture also decreases the abnormal degeneration of joint surfaces that could lead to arthritis.
Steps toward achieving good posture begins with a conscious decision to stand and sit with good posture followed by some exercises that you can perform either sitting or standing. Some stretches that you can do to improve your posture includes shoulder blade squeezes, upper-body stretches with the arms and obliques, and also cross-arm stretches. If you have been sitting at a computer for a long time be aware of how you are sitting. Correct sitting position is sitting upright with your back straight and shoulders back. Your body weight should be evenly distributed on both hips and your glutes should be touching the back of your chair.
Exercising also helps with improving posture. When you strengthen your core and abdominal muscles, this will help you with keeping an upright posture because your back will be more supported. Many people also like to engage in other activities like yoga, massage therapy, or tai chi. Treatments like seeing a chiropractor or undergoing osteopathic manipulation are also other methods found to be helpful with muscle relaxation and posture awareness and improvement.