Good posture can be challenging, especially when you sit at a desk all day or have to stand for long periods. But it’s well worth the effort, because good posture is essential to various aspects of your health, including your spine.
Back pain can get in the way, leading to poor posture instead. In fact, the two problems often go hand and hand, and fixing one can significantly help the other.
The team at Peninsula Orthopedic Associates understands how the body works, especially regarding your posture and spine.
Leading our team are 10 orthopedic specialists who provide physical therapy, injections, and lifestyle changes to help you reduce back pain and improve your posture.
Posture is how you hold your body while you're standing or sitting. We measure posture by how your spine aligns with your head, hips, and shoulders.
Good posture describes when your spine is in alignment with the rest of your body, taking pressure off your joints and muscles, but no one has perfect posture.
Everyone's body is different, meaning their good posture may look different from someone else’s. However, good posture describes the spine in a neutral position, which has many benefits, including:
- Helping to maintain flexibility
- Reducing stress on body tissues
- Reducing general fatigue
- Enabling you to keep your balance
It's easy to fall into bad posture, especially from sitting on the couch or standing all day. Bad posture causes various issues, including back and neck pain, muscle or joint strains, and injuries related to exercise and physical activity.
How does posture cause back pain?
Poor posture is one significant contributor to back pain that is unrelated to other spinal conditions. Slouching, for instance, puts a lot of strain on the muscles in your back, leading to chronic pain and tension.
Back pain is one of the first signs of bad posture, as the load on your spine disperses unevenly. There are various ways posture causes back pain, including these bad habits:
- Lying on your stomach to watch TV
- Slumping or slouching on a chair or couch
- Sitting on a bed and working on a computer
- Hunching forward while cleaning or weeding
- Putting your weight on one leg while standing
- Lifting heavy weights off the floor and bending at the back
One or more of these types of posture can lead to low back pain, especially when paired with a sedentary lifestyle.
Can back pain lead to bad posture?
Poor posture doesn't only lead to back pain; back pain can also cause poor posture.
When you're in pain, you move your body in ways to lessen your discomfort. Sometimes, that means sitting or standing with bad posture to get comfortable. If it helps temporarily, it isn't the best choice. The optimal option you have to reduce back pain is practicing good posture.
We help you understand the relationship between posture and back pain and help you make changes to reduce discomfort and improve your posture in the long term. You can do this in several ways, including:
- Physical therapy
- Strengthening your core
- Walking tall with your head straight
- Relaxing the shoulders when standing
- Avoiding lifting from the ground
- Avoiding slouching while sitting
If you have a job that requires you to sit for extended periods, focus on keeping your back against the chair and your head over your spine. You also want to roll your shoulders back and keep them relaxed with your feet on the floor.
You can significantly reduce back pain by improving your posture, just as you can improve your posture by getting the proper treatment for back pain.
If you're tired of suffering from back pain and want to fix your posture, call our office in Daly City, California, today for a consultation with one of our specialists. You can also book an appointment online.