The connection between your posture and back pain is a fairly obvious one, as both involve your spine and its surrounding support systems. Just as bad posture can lead to or exacerbate back pain, good posture can help you avoid the problem altogether.
Our team of musculoskeletal experts at Magnolia Medical Center has a unique understanding of the biomechanics of your spine and how a problem in one area can have a widespread impact. Since 80% of the population in the United States experiences lower back pain at some point in their lives, we feel that tackling the problem in your everyday life is a great place to start in preventing or halting back pain.
With that in mind, here’s a look at why your posture matters when it comes to back pain.
What do we mean by posture?
While this question may seem obvious, when we talk about posture, we’re referring to how you carry yourself when you’re sitting, standing, and even sleeping.
At the heart of your musculoskeletal system lies your spine, which is surrounded by a host of supporting players, such as muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. This complex system works best when your spine is in a neutral position, which means it isn’t hunched, overly arched, or crooked to one side.
In a neutral position, each structure in your back is carrying its proper share of the burden, which means the workload is spread out more evenly, as it was designed to be.
If you have poor posture, this means that you’re overtaxing an area that wasn’t designed for the extra stress, and this can quickly lead to back pain, as well as neck pain.
Practicing great posture at all times
To ensure that your back is working as it was designed, good posture is crucial at all times. To give you a better idea about what we mean by “good posture,” let’s take a closer look at a few of the more common scenarios:
If you spend a good deal of time standing, there are several ways to avoid back pain. First, be sure that the ground where you spend long periods on your feet is even and well cushioned (no hard surfaces like concrete).
As well, try to keep your hips aligned and your shoulders back as much as possible with your head held high.
If, like millions of others, you spend long hours at a desk, taking the time to ensure good posture is time well spent. First, be sure to place both feet on the floor and avoid crossing your legs or ankles. Second, position your knees at the same height as your hips or lower, but never above.
Next, relax your shoulders and make sure your back is well supported. Lastly, keep your monitor at eye level so that you’re not hunched over.
When you go to bed, you want to give your hard-working back a break. We urge you not to sleep on your stomach, which can force your spine into an unnatural position. Instead, sleep on your side or back.
As well, be sure your pillow isn’t raising your head and neck too high. A great idea is to take a pillow and place it between your knees, which allows your hips and spine to rest in a more neutral position.
The few steps you take to correct your posture, no matter your activity, can go a long way toward alleviating and preventing back pain.
If you’d like to learn more about the link between posture and back pain, contact our office in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Calling us is one option, or you can use the online booking tool to set up your appointment.