Poor Posture and Back Pain

There are many types of back and neck pain.  Unfortunately many people try to ignore the real cause of the pain and just treat the symptoms.  We want to help you address the underlying problem and treat the cause not just the symptom.

Poor posture can cause problems in many areas of your body, particularly along your back and neck.  Injuries that result from poor posture may be misuse injuries or wear and tear injuries.  Read through these suggestions to see if you can make some adjustments.   Damage from poor posture is done over time, and it can lead to long term consequences.  Good posture will help to keep your body healthy and help you keep greater range of motion.

You may not be aware that you have poor posture habits, the way you sit or stand may seem normal and trying to change these lifelong habits can be difficult.  If you are having trouble our office can help.  We can provide support, advice and adjustments.  Dr. Elsey can suggest stretches or exercises to address particular areas of your body that may be weak or tight and may be pulling the rest of your body out of alignment.

Check your posture by looking in a full length mirror.  Try to relax and stand like your normally would.  When you look at your reflection head on, you should should stand with your feet about shoulder length apart.  Your ankles should be straight, your knees should face forward, and your hips should be level.  Your shoulders should be even and your neck and head should be in a straight line.

Looking at your profile may be difficult, so asking someone to take a picture of you can be a good way to evaluate your posture.  Stay relaxed and stand normally.  Look first at your lower back.  You want to have a slight curve forward in your lower back, you don’t want this area too curved or too straight.  Your knees should be straight. Your head should be held high, you shouldn’t be slumped forward.

Your shoulders should line up with your ears, you don’t want to have them too far back or rounded forward.  Your stomach should be flat and your hips centered under your head and shoulders.  You should be able to draw a straight line from the middle of your heel all the way out the top of your head.

Simply making the decision that you want to have better posture may not be enough. It takes time and effort to develop good habits.  If you have bad posture it has probably taken you years to develop the habits, it isn’t going to be something you can change overnight.  Good posture can have a direct impact on the quality of your life, so make the effort.

Dr. Elsey can realign your body and make it easier to have good posture by increasing mobility and restoring alignment.  Getting a full night’s rest can help you improve your posture and spine health.  While you are sleeping your body is healing itself and decompressing.  A good mattress can provide the proper support for your body.

Be aware of your weight as well.  Extra weight will put extra stress on your body, especially your joints.  Excess weight in the stomach can pull your body into a slouching position and put additional stress on your spine.  If you have been injured address the damage.  If you ignore the problem it will likely build and cause additional wear and tear or damage.  By favoring one area of the body because you are in pain can often cause you to injure another part.

People who have good posture carry less tension and experience less pain, as well as having a better range of movement.  Call our office if you are suffering from back pain that may be related to posture, we want to help!