Poor posture and back pain
‘Heads up, shoulders back and tummy in’
I am sure this is a phrase you will have heard many times from a young age. The most important factor is maintaining good spinal health. The spine is made up of vertebrae, discs, muscles and ligaments; it has natural curves to help absorb stress from natural body movements and loads that our bodies are put through on a daily basis.
Having poor posture can increase the stress that is put through the spine due to the constant added load to the spinal structure. In turn, this can cause moderate to severe back and neck problems over time. It may also lead to headaches and fatigue. A number of factors can affect your posture:
• Inherent factors such as a leg length discrepancy often require some muscles to work harder to compensate for other muscles.
• Biomechanical factors such as over-pronation of the feet can cause the shin to roll inwards, followed by the thigh, which can then alter the position of the pelvis, putting strain on the spine.
• Long periods of sitting can affect your posture. Some muscles become shortened, while others become long and weak. This imbalance results in a flexed spine position. The more you sit, the more your body adopts this position, and the worse your posture can become.
• Occupation: Office based jobs that specifically require long periods of sitting or labouring work that requires a lot of bending forward. For example, mechanics, carpet fitters, plumbers, electricians – all spend a lot of time in flexed positions. Jobs that require you to carry uneven loads, such as postal delivery workers, tend to carry their bags over one shoulder, resulting in postural imbalance problems.
• Sporting Activities: Some sports can have a severe impact on posture. Spending long periods of time leaning forwards on a bicycle can result in over-stretched back muscles. Quite often people who exercise their upper body focus on their chest, shoulders and arm muscles. These muscles can become too tight and pull your shoulders, head and upper body forward into a flexed position.
If you suffer from back pain or neck pain, you may adopt unnatural postures to try reducing the movements that may cause your pain to reoccur. It is best not to put yourself in those particular awkward positions as they can increase pain, causing your muscles to weaken further.
We’ve got your back! How our Physiotherapy can help.
Good posture requires equal amounts of strength and flexibility. In our physiotherapy sessions we carry out thorough assessments to find the cause of the problem.
1. Strengthening weak muscle groups and core strength exercises
2. Stretching tight muscles
3. Manual therapy techniques
5. Altering your working position
6. Correcting any biomechanical abnormalities
If you are suffering from back pain or have any queries regarding your back, please do not hesitate to contact us on – 01282 453 110. Alternatively, you can use our FREE ‘Ask a Physio’ service on our website.
Ammit qualified as a chartered physiotherapist from Manchester Met University in 2011. His specialism is in spinal injuries and has amassed lots of experience in treating these since becoming a physio. Ammit enjoys football, music and spending time with family and friends.