Of all the things you have to worry about, posture probably isn’t on your list. But if it’s causing you back pain, it’ll shoot to the top of that list lickety-split, and you’ll be searching for ways to stop the pain and prevent it from returning.
Our team of expert chiropractors at AllCare Chiropractic knows exactly what you’re going through and we can help you get back to a pain-free life. Once you understand the dynamics involved in proper posture, it’ll become clear to you why poor posture can be such a problem. Here’s what you need to know.
A word about posture
Although you don’t consciously think about posture every minute of every day, your body does. It is constantly working to keep your body upright, whether standing or sitting. Your muscles, ligaments, and bones all work together to get the job done.
As designed, your body parts use teamwork to keep gravity from pulling you to the ground. Under ideal conditions, they keep your skeleton well-aligned with minimal tension on your muscles. That’s called good posture.
But what happens when your job or other daily activities keep you in a constant state of poor posture? Here are five ways that bad habits can lead to back pain.
When you slouch at a computer for hours on end or stand all day with slumped shoulders, your skeleton moves into a position it wasn’t meant to maintain. Your bones and joints get off-kilter and begin to wear on one another, which can lead to arthritis.
In particular, your back, comprising multiple moving parts, such as vertebrae, discs, muscles, ligaments, and nerves, relies on proper positioning to stay healthy. Poor posture can lead to pinched nerves, herniated discs, sciatica, low back pain, and more.
2. Stressed ligaments
Bad posture stresses the ligaments along the back of your neck. This can cause bone spurs to develop in the areas where those ligaments attach to your spine. It can also damage your discs and make them bulge or become herniated. When any of these conditions occur, they’ll compress the nerves in the areas, and you’ll feel pain in your back, arms, or legs.
3. Muscle fatigue
When properly aligned, your body uses only a minimum amount of effort to keep upright. But when you have poor posture, you’re demanding that your muscles work harder to do the job. Overworked or fatigued muscles are a common form of back pain.
4. Muscle strain
Fatigued muscles are tired, achy, and stressed, and it doesn’t take much to injure them. If constantly slouching forward has weakened your abdominal muscles, then your back muscles have to do double duty and can easily become strained, overstretched, or torn.
5. Increased chance of injury
In addition to the pain, stress, and strain poor posture can cause, it can also be responsible for injuries to your spine, neck, and other body parts. For instance, if you don’t pay attention to proper posture when you’re lifting a heavy object, you’re a prime candidate for back pain. You should always engage your legs in the movement, bending at the knees and keeping your spine straight. Improper posture and lifting techniques are one of the major causes of workplace injuries.
How chiropractic care can help
If you have back pain caused by poor posture, we can help alleviate your symptoms by making gentle chiropractic adjustments to your spine that relieve stress and tension. We also customize an exercise program that strengthens your musculoskeletal system and your core and retrains your body to stay in alignment.
If you have questions about proper posture and how it relates to back pain, give us a call or book an appointment online at any of our three convenient locations.