Back to The Future: Prevent Back Issues Early With Correct Posture

What is Posture?

Posture is how one holds the body. There are two types of posture:

  1. Dynamic posture

This how one holds their body when they are moving, like when walking, running, or bending over to pick up an object.

  1. Static posture

This is how one holds their body when they are not moving, like when sitting, standing, and sleeping.

What is good posture?

A good posture is when your shoulders are square and when your head and neck are in alignment. This ideal posture takes strength and endurance. When we study good posture, we have to look at neutral joint positions. These positions allow us to put the least amount of stress on the joint and the surrounding structures. It gives us the best biochemical advantage. The neutral joint position is an S-shaped inward curve at the cervical and lumbar spine and outward at the thoracic spine. 

What is poor posture?

It is difficult for people to remember, maintain, and hold because of strength and endurance deficits. Which is why poop posture is easier to fall into. A poor posture looks somewhat like when your head is forward, your shoulders are rounded, and the neck has a curvature in it. This creates tension in the lower back. When people say sitting is the new smoking, they are not entirely wrong. Slouching during a sitting position is a common sight.

When we study the spine, it is connected to the pelvis, which is like a bowl. Keeping the bowl in an upright position is critical to correct posture. A slouch automatically causes tip in the upright position of the pelvis.

Furthermore, a head that looks straight at eye level helps keep the trunk stable. When the head is hanging forward, it weighs almost 5 to 6 kilograms of added pressure for every inch your chin comes forward on the neck muscles. When it is at a healthy level, the muscles are nice and open in the neck to sustain that weight.

What causes back pain?

Back pain is perhaps the commonest occurrence in old and young alike. People tend to neglect it as a result. As one gets older, the chances of developing lower back pain increase on account of factors like work habits and degenerative disc disease. Pain in the upper back may be due to disorders of the aorta, tumors in the chest, and spine inflammation. The following are the causes:

  • Sustained lifting of heavy objects
  • Poor posture habits
  • Injuries to the back
  • Unhealthy sleeping position
  • Lumbar herniated discs
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Spinal stenosis
  • Facet joint malfunction

While there are many causes for back pains, poor posture is surprisingly the most common among them all.

What can poor posture lead to?

Poor posture tightens and shortens the pec muscles (dominant muscles between the clavicle muscles) causing dysfunction and pain to the cervical, thoracic, and lumbar parts of the back. If you can correct simple things like sitting with the abdomen way into the back of the chair, keeping your head balanced optimally, you can avoid things like neck pain, upper and lower back pain. Read more on tips to improve posture here {insert link here}.

What next?

Tools

There are multiple tools and mechanisms that can help relieve back pain that is chronic. They include:

Exercise

Any exercise is better than no exercise. In order to correct one’s posture, strong core muscles are of utmost importance, along with muscles of the lower back, abdomen, and hips. Read this blog to 5 simple exercises to improve posture.

It is important to consult your healthcare provider if back pain is severe or chronic. Lifestyle factors like the wrong posture during sitting or sleeping, or hormonal factors during pregnancy can be controlled. Prevention is far easier than cure. Do make sure you’re keeping your back at a healthy posture for optimum health. In case, the pain has escalated, a healthcare professional will be more equipped to diagnose your unique symptoms and point you in the right direction toward recovery.

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