Other than traumatic injury, the most commonly reported cause of both upper and lower back pain is without a doubt poor posture. Many people are often surprised to learn that the source of their pain and discomfort is indeed the way that they stand or sit.
What makes poor posture such a leading cause of severe back pain is that the effects aren’t immediately noticeable. A few hours spent with poor posture won’t all of a sudden bring on major back pain — but prolonged periods of time spent with poor posture? It’s a recipe for disaster when it comes to a sore back.
Perhaps most alarmingly, there are many people out there who aren’t even aware that they have terrible posture. However, here’s the good news — once your posture is addressed and corrected, it isn’t long before symptoms of back pain begin to subside.
Let’s start by taking a look at some of the signs of poor posture.
Do You Have Poor Posture?
As mentioned above, there’s a lot of people out there who have poor posture without even realizing it. Here are some of the most common indicators of poor posture; if you notice that you usually carry yourself in the following ways, this article is doubly important for you.
- Shoulders that are rounded forward
- Knees that bend while you are standing or walking
- Head leaning either too far forward or backward
There are quite a few complications that can arise from poor posture. These can include:
- Upper and lower back pain
- Aches and pains throughout the body
- Muscle fatigue and weakness
The reason that poor posture has such serious negative effects is that it interferes with your body’s natural postural mechanisms. It disrupts your ‘slow’ and ‘fast twitch’ muscle fibers, interferes with muscle strength and length, and even has an effect on your nervous system.
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Signs That Your Back Pain Is Caused by Poor Posture
If you’re experiencing sudden back pain in either your upper or lower back, there’s a few common symptoms that point to poor posture being the cause.
Typically, back pain as a result of poor posture is worse at certain points of the day. It also may begin in your neck and gradually begin to radiate down into your upper and lower back.
If you notice that your pain gets better after switching positions while you are either standing or sitting, posture is likely the cause.
So How Exactly Does Poor Posture Cause Your Back Pain?
The most common posture positions that cause neck and back pain is when an individual is standing or sitting with their head held forward along with their shoulders being rounded. This ends up placing stress and pressure on your spine that over time will lead into a painful back.
This pressure can actually cause anatomical changes in your spine. It can cause your blood vessels to constrict, as well as your nerves. All of these factors add up, and the end result is ongoing neck and back pain suffered by many people who have poor posture.
So how do you address this problem? Well, just as poor posture can directly contribute to back pain, it stands to reason that adopting good postural habits can help provide you with relief. That being said, let’s take a look at how you can change your posture for the better.
3 Tips to Maintain Proper Posture
The following tips for good posture should be applied in equal measure to when you are standing, walking, and sitting. It’s important to be consciously aware of your body movements and posture and constantly work on maintaining good posture until it becomes second nature.
Stand Up Straight
The first thing to be aware of when maintaining good posture is the importance of standing up straight and walking tall. When you are consciously focusing on your posture while standing or sitting, it’s easy to remember to practice good habits.
But when you are walking? That’s often when people slip back into bad habits. Always make sure that you are looking straight ahead of you while holding your head up, keeping it balanced and in line with your neck and spine.
Keep Your Shoulders Pulled Back
In order to prevent slouching and rounded shoulders, it’s important to be aware of the position in which your shoulders are resting. Keep your shoulders back and aligned with your spine as you remain in a straight, upright position.
This is often the part of posture correction that most people struggle with, so pay extra attention to your shoulders while working to address bad posture.
Exercise for Better Posture
The simple act of exercising and staying healthy and fit can do wonders for your posture. By keeping your body lean, it’s far easier to naturally maintain good posture. In addition, your core plays a large role in your posture.
By strengthening your core, specifically your abdominal and lower back muscles, you can help stabilize your spine in a more neutral position. This helps both your posture and works to prevent back pain in the future.
By focusing on maintaining correct posture and fixing any poor postural problems you might have, you may notice a marked improvement in any back pain symptoms that you’ve been dealing with. The benefits of good posture extend beyond that though — many people also report increased feelings of confidence and self-worth once they begin practicing proper posture.
If you’re still experiencing any upper or lower back pain after addressing any postural issues, however, it might be worthwhile to look into a program specifically designed to naturally eliminate back pain. The top program that we recommend is Back Pain Relief For Life.
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