Many people suffer from back pain due to poor posture. A good posture helps you balance, avoid injuries, or reduce back and muscle pain. Proper posture aligns your limbs correctly to work together efficiently. Evaluating your posture and correcting it may go a long way in preventing back and neck pain.
Slouching, holding the phone between the ear and shoulder, and wearing high heels are some of the factors that encourage bad posture. Commonly, most of us want to have the correct posture. When you sit, some muscles become too tight while others become weak and loose. This results in an imbalance that throws your posture out of shape. After working for two years as a massage therapist, I can be certain that poor posture is a primary factor of chronic back pain. This is also a vital factor in pain, much later in life, but can be improved with the right efforts. Caution though, in some instances these steps of improving posture can waste your money and money. It’s wise to consult a doctor to avoid further damage.
Three Key Areas of Bad postures
We already know that bad posture is caused by excessive repetition of activities. To fully understand about good posture, we need to look at areas of bad posture.
Hips and lower back
Sitting for too long makes you hip muscles excessively tight and tired. There is a big muscle attaching your leg and the lower back. When this muscle tightens, it can pull on your lumbar spine. This means when sitting for too long your lower back stretches easily, and your pelvis tilts.
Shoulders and Middle Back
When typing on a computer your shoulder tends to slouch forward, and this damages your posture. It makes your chest muscle to tighten and the middle back muscle to weaken. When you stand up, your shoulders are rounded up forward as the back muscles aren’t strong enough to pull them back.
Neck or Head Posture
The forward head posture is where your head is further forward than your torso. This position is commonly caused by sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen for too long. The neck muscles weaken, are unable to keep your head positioned correctly.
Most people sitting at a desk incorrectly will probably end up with one or all the above issues. When you have a bad posture, you develop physical problems mainly chronic pains. If you have a posture problem, it can translate to regular lower back pain. Lower back pain limits your normal daily activities.
If the second posture applies to you, then you will develop an upper backache. Upper back pain causes pain between your neck and shoulder blades, and risks of shoulder injuries are high. If the third posture applies to you, you are likely to get arthritis. Posture problems aren’t a joke, and the pain is a genuine evidence.
Improving your posture constantly.
No one wants all these problems, so adopting a good posture is crucial. It takes time and determination to correct your body posture. Work on your posture all day every day. Half an hour of good posture won’t improve six hours of bad posture. Be conscious of good posture and your body will gradually become used to it. Some patients use colors to help them remember. For instance, if you see a red color, you will remember to sit properly.
How to Take the strain from tight muscles
Use an ergonomically developed chair or use a back support when working. This eases pressure on your lower back, helping you improve your posture. Regularly stand up and stretch your muscles. If your legs can’t reach the floor, use a footrest for support. While sleeping use a stance that puts less strain on your back and regularly changes your sleeping positions. Use a mattress that gives you comfort. Place a pillow beneath your head and not your shoulders, to reduce neck pain.
Address the Muscular Imbalances Occurring to your Body
Muscle imbalances occurring in your body should be dealt with immediately. If something is tight, it needs to be stretched. Where the muscles are weak, strengthening is required. Weight lifting is perceived to be for the big muscle guys at the gym, but it can also help patients with back pain. These things can be done with little to zero equipment, from taking a walk to doing yoga.
Benefits of Good Posture
- Proper posture improves body alignment and reduces chronic back pain. When standing or sitting correctly, and your hip spine and neck are properly aligned. This means all organs are functioning well and digestion is also improved.
- A healthy posture relieves neck and back pain. Your spine can easily and efficiently support your body weight if balanced evenly. Poor posture makes the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to work harder in supporting the same body weight.
- The lungs need room to expand in your chest, to work efficiently. When slumped over, your rib cage contracts. This leaves little space for the lungs to open, leading to insufficient breathing. Meaning good position improves your breathing. According to research, the brain uses approximately 25% of oxygen in the body. Sufficient supply and flow of oxygen improve memory and learning abilities.
- Standing in an upright position, makes you look powerful and confident. Some poor posture makes your belly protrude, giving you a beer belly profile. Studies show that women prefer tall, fitter-looking men. It’s perceived that these men earn more over their lifetime than overweight, short men. It seems unfair since nothing can be done about height, but posture can be improved. Upright posture seems authoritative even in the animal kingdom. The dominant ape stands up straight while the submissive one bows its head and makes itself look small.
Myths of Good Posture
A Good posture should be rigid and take a lot of effort to achieve. When proper posture crosses our minds, we imagine a policeman standing at attention, chest puffed out and shoulders pulled back. This is poor positioning as the muscles are tensed, and are made to work harder. Proper positioning should be comfortable and feel relaxed. Research suggests that when you have proper posture, the bones and muscles keep your body balanced.
Another common myth people believe in is aiming for a common posture. Everyone’s body is different and also reacts differently to exercise, medication, and posture. Good posture won’t be similar from one person to another.
However, if back pain persists, it’s advisable to visit a doctor and rectify the condition.
Always remember a good posture equals to a healthy spine.