You slouch in your chair as you finish a report while at the office. When you get home, you want to unwind, so you spend a couple of hours weeding your garden with your back hunched forward. Then, at the end of the day, you end up experiencing back pain. Why? As it turns out, your posture may be contributing to back pain.
How does bad posture provoke back pain?
You may not feel any ill-effects after sitting with poor posture for a few hours, but over time the stress that poor posture puts in your spine can result in anatomical changes to the structure of your spine. This in turn can provoke back pain through the constriction of nerves and your blood vessels. In addition, the pressure from poor posture can lead to back pain by inducing issues with the intervertebral discs, your muscles, and joints.
Back pain caused by poor posture may have some of the following characteristics:
- Back pain that worsens at certain times of the day
- Pain that starts in your neck and goes down to your upper and lower back
- Pain that subsides after shifting positions while sitting or standing
- Sudden back pain which coincides with a new job, a new office chair, or even a new automobile
Maintaining Proper Posture
If poor posture can result in back pain, then it logically follows that proper posture can help you avoid back pain. Here is how to keep a good posture while lifting, sitting, and walking:
It’s easy to forget about your posture when you’re working out or running errands, but your posture is no less important once you’re walking than when you’re sitting. While walking, it’s very important to look straight before you and to keep your head balanced straight above your backbone. In addition, remain tall (avoid drooping your shoulders) while you are walking, and make sure to land on your heel and then gently roll forward to push off the front of your foot.
Sit with Support
If you’re like most people, you sit for at least eight hours daily. With this much of your daily life spent sitting down, it’s very important that you sit with proper posture. One common posture mistake lots of men and women make is the “office seat hunch,” in which a person sits at the front of the seat and hunches ahead to reach their computer screen.
Rather than hunching forward, here is the way to sit with proper posture in your office:
- Keep your back flush from the seat with your shoulders tall along with your mind level over your backbone.
- When sitting at a desk, then keep your arms bent at a 75 to 90 degree angle at the elbows.
- Keep your knees level with your hips or sit with your knees slightly over your buttocks if seated at a desk.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor. If you are unable to reach the floor, you can utilize a footrest.
Improper lifting techniques may lead to injury on the joints, tendons, and disks in your back. To assist you when avoiding back pain, here are three simple guidelines for lifting both heavy and light objects:
- Keep your chest forward. To ensure you keep your spine straight while lifting, bend your hips, not your back, and keep your chest out.
- Lead with your hips. Lead with your hips to prevent putting additional strain on your back, when changing directions while lifting.
- Keep weight near your body. Keep the object you are lifting close to your body.
These techniques can help prevent event ease symptoms of back pain associated with poor posture. However, if back pain becomes chronic or persistent, an underlying injury or condition may be causing the symptoms. Make sure to seek proper medical attention from a back pain specialist, including chiropractic care.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
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