Troubled with back pain? Well, you are not alone. Almost every five in ten Canadians are seen to have back pain. Moreover, 85 percent of the working population will have back pain once in their lifetime. Various causes such as trauma, inflammation, or a herniated disc are responsible for back pain. Whatever the reason be, bad posture is one of the common reasons for triggering pain. In addition, poor posture can also lead to neck and shoulder pain.
Let’s deal with reality, we all can improve our posture. Whether it’s looking down while starring at the phone screen or sitting at the desk, having a bad posture for a long time can increase your existing pain and even cause some damage.
How Can Incorrect Posture Increase Pain?
Bad posture may create several areas of stress in your muscles, discs, and spinal joints. These areas of stress can return to normal once the posture is corrected; however, long-term exposure to such stresses may result in the weakening of the affected muscle or joint.
Furthermore, continued unsupported sitting posture may cause a herniation. This results in back pain that extends to the legs.
Tips for Good Posture
The commonest mistake observed while correcting posture is setting the chest out and sticking the shoulders back. Here are some tips to correct your posture while sitting:
- Head up with chin slightly down so that your ears are parallel to your shoulders
- Forearm to be parallel to the ground and rested on a surface
- Try to keep your abdominal muscles slightly tucked
- Lean at an angle of 135 degrees
- Try to keep your hips in line with the knees
- Your ankle should be out in front of knees
- Place your feet on the floor
How to Use Supportive Posture
Here are some ways of maintaining posture while standing, sitting, or lifting:
Always Sit with a Support
Maintain your posture, as mentioned above, while sitting on a chair. You can use a pillow to support the natural lumbar curve of the spine. Also, try to get up from the chair every hour to lower the pressure on your vertebral discs.
Maintain correct posture while lifting
Squat down if you intend to lift a heavy object. While getting uphold the object close to your chest. For lighter objects, take the support of one hand and lift the object with the other hand. This technique is also known as the golfer’s lift. This can come handy during repetitive lifting actions.
Exercises to Maintain Correct Posture
You can try the following exercises to strengthen the muscles and improve posture:
- Core: Planks, crunches, and leg exercises can help to strengthen the core muscles.
- Shoulder blades: Take an exercise band in your hands and place it in front of you, at the shoulder level. Now, stretch it gently by bending the arms. Return to the initial position and repeat.
- Neck: While sitting, press your hand into your hands. Hold this position for 30 seconds before returning to the initial position. You can do this exercise multiple times a day.
Consult a Physiotherapist
It is a good idea to consult a physiotherapist for a posture assessment. This can help you to prevent/or get relief from pain.