Article contributed by Hridya from GetDoc
Reaching a deadline soon and so you slouch on the chair as you swiftly finish your work at the office? Does that describe you? You get back home, to unwind you spend time weeding your garden – back is hunched. Think it is no big deal? Think again. Your poor posture may be contributing to your back pain.
Poor posture provokes back pain
The side effects of sitting with a poor posture for a few hours may not be seen immediately; however over a period of time the stress that poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes in the spine. This in turn can aggravate back pain due to tightening of nerves and blood vessels. In addition to this, the stress from poor posture can lead to back pain by causing problems in the discs, muscles and joints.
Back pain due to poor posture may have the following symptoms:
- Back pain that is worse at certain times during the day
- Pain that starts in your neck and moves down into your upper and lower back
- Pain that subsides after switching positions while sitting or standing
- Sudden back pain that coincides with a new job, a new office chair, or even a new car
How can you maintain good posture?
If you have back pain, improving your posture doesn’t necessarily address the root cause of your pain, but it may help alleviate muscle tension. Expert opinion is always the best!
Let us take a look at some of the common mistakes we commit when it comes to bad posture and how they can be corrected.
Initially it may feel awkward to correct your posture since the body has got used to the incorrect posture. With a bit of practice, you will make it second nature to have a correct posture and in turn help your back and yourself.
1. Slouching in a chair
Isn’t that something you and I do almost everyday?
Slouching may not always cause discomfort, but with time this pose can strain on the already sensitised muscles and soft tissues. This strain can increase muscle tension that may in turn cause pain.
Exercises to strengthen your core and buttock muscles, and back extensions, will help correct a slouching posture.
Plank exercises, bridges and back extensions can correct a slumping posture.
2. Sticking your bottom out
If you have a pronounced curve in your lower back or your bottom tends to stick out, you may be having hyperlordosis. This is actually an exaggerated inward curve of the lower back that creates what is known as the ‘Donal Duck’ posture.
Pregnancy, excess weight around stomach region and wearing high heels can cause this posture.
Core and buttock strengthening exercises, thigh stretches, hip flexor, and also not forgetting to make a conscious effort to correct your standing posture are recommended to help correct this condition.
3. Standing with a flat back
A flat back refers to a tucked in pelvis, when your lower back is straight instead of naturally curved, thereby causing you to stoop forward.
People with a flat back often find it difficult to stand for long periods. This posture is often caused by muscle imbalances, which encourage you to stoop forward. Spending long periods sitting down can also contribute to a flat back.
A flat back also tends to make you lean your neck and head forwards, which can cause strain in the neck and upper neck.
Exercises to strengthen your core, buttocks, neck and rear shoulder muscles, and back extensions, are recommended to help you to correct flat back.
4. Hunched back and ‘text neck’
Hunching over your keyboard is usually a sign that you have a tight chest and a weak upper back. Over a period of time, this type of posture can contribute to you developing a rounded upper back, which can cause shoulder and upper back stiffness.
When hunching over a computer, your head may tend to lean forward and this can lead to poor posture. Using a mobile can cause a similar problem which is termed as “text neck”.
Upper back, neck and rear shoulder strengthening exercises, neck posture drills, check stretches are recommended to help correct a hunched back.
Although these tips can help you relieve yourself of the pain up to a certain extent, it is always better to get expert opinion. Want to speak to a chiropractor for your back problem? Just use GetDoc!