Is back pain caused by poor posture? The shortest answer to this question is, yes! However, back pain can also be caused by a variety of conditions and injuries. At Humbleworks we are passionate about relieving and preventing back pain caused by sitting down all day in a poor posture.
With our shoulders slumped and our spines bent over, our bodies remain ‘huddled’ up all day every day. The main contributing factor for back pain, caused by poor posture while seated, is that the load on your spine is unevenly distributed.
Our bone structure, joints, and muscles work together based on the idea that our bodies are not meant to be hunched up all day. When we sit for hours on end, the load on our spine is unevenly distributed causing certain muscle tissues to weaken and cause us pain.
Bad Posture vs Good Posture
If you were to stand up straight, in front of a mirror, with your chin up and your shoulders back, you will notice that your abdomen is upright and rigid. Your shoulders are relaxed, and your spine more or less runs in a straight line from your neck to your pelvic region.
As our bodies are designed to be upright, a poor posture includes body positions that are slumped to one side, that bend the spine, and include crossing our knees, or straining our necks and shoulders while working at a desk.
The key to good posture is a simple one, but applies differently depending on whether we’re seated, standing, looking at our phones, carrying a handbag etc. Take a look at these excellent posture tips provided by the Mayo Clinic, a leading researcher and non profit organisation focussed on overall wellbeing and healing.
Why does bad posture cause back pain?
Bad posture can lead to back pain because when our bodies maintain an ‘unnatural’ position for extended periods of time, specific parts of our bodies are placed under stress to compensate and ‘carry the load.’ It’s so easy to fall into the poor posture trap while seated. Sitting in a bad posture causes back pain because not all of our joints, muscles, and bones function as they were meant to, while others essentially work harder. This causes an imbalance in the way our shoulders, back, spine and neck function together.
How to correct your posture
For millions of people, correcting our posture means taking a conscious decision to do so. It means that we need to be mindful and conscious of our bodily positions throughout the day. If we’re seated, whether it’s on the couch, in our cars, or on the couch, we need to be aware of how we are sitting and then make corrections to our posture.
There are other methods and practices that will help to prevent back pain and to correct our posture. Some of these include:
- Practicing Yoga and/or Pilates
- Visiting a chiropractor
- Standing up at your desk instead of sitting all day
The NHS website includes a variety of helpful resources for common posture mistakes and fixes.
If you’re suffering with back pain, whether it’s been a slow development or caused by an injury, the first step to take is to consult your doctor or Chiropractor. They will provide analysis, treatment, and may recommend a series of exercises to rectify the pain. There’s a good likelihood that they will also recommend a standing desk, specifically if your job is desk bound. Read one of our blog posts to find out what to look out for when selecting your ideal wooden standing desk.