There are a lot of reasons that cause back pain. However, some specialist doctors say that poor postures while you sit, sleep, work, etc., are one of the major reasons that trigger back pain. When your back position is not proper, you may end up with torn or strained muscles. It can lead to injury causing pain and it might become chronic gradually.
Unsupported postures put loads of pressure on your spine, weakens your tissues and muscles in your lower back. As a result, the frame of well-arranged and supportive muscles, discs, and joints in your back might be pushed beyond their range, causing pain. With or without your knowledge you may be involved in various incorrect postures that result in immediate back pain.
So you should have some knowledge about common bad postures in your day to day to avoid them.
Common bad postures in your everyday life
Your daily activities associated with bad postures typically involve actions like walking long distances, sitting more time, standing & bending, lifting heavy objects, and sleeping. Common mistakes you do while performing these actions are:
- Sitting in a slumped position on a chair or couch in the office or at home.
- Lying flat on your belly on the bed when you do work on a laptop or while reading a book for extended periods.
- Sitting on a bed and using the laptop.
- Doing garden work or cleaning dishes or any other that involves Leaning forward for a long time.
- Doing work with one hand, i.e., long arm movements.
- Putting the weight of your body centred on one leg while standing
- Walking in a bowed style without holding your head or the trunk in an improper position
- Lifting heavy objects by bending your back
If you are involved in one or more of the above-mentioned incorrect postures, you are at risk of experiencing mild to severe back pain. In addition, a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity increase stress and pain in your lower back region.
If your pain subsides when you change positions or become worse at a particular time of the day, probably poor posture might be the reason.
How does poor posture cause back pain?
When you are in an incorrect posture, stress or pressure develops in several areas within your muscle tissues, spinal joints, & discs. The exerted stress might be relieved immediately after getting into a good posture or may proceed to increase slowly over time and weakens the surrounding muscles, for example:
- A hunching position for a long time when you stand or sit can strain your back, core, and abdominal muscles. It eventually results in pain, stiffness, and weakness due to reduced blood supply in the trunk and the lower back.
- Sitting in an uneven position and bending forward might place extra load on your spinal discs, causing herniation.
- Lifting weights from the floor in an incorrect position can lead to lumbar disc herniation. It causes pain in your lower back, and sometimes the pain radiates into your lower limbs through a nearby spinal nerve.
- lying on your belly in an uneven position while you work on a laptop or reading might tend to stretch your muscles beyond their range in your lower back and hip. The position alters the dynamics of the spinal curve in your lower back, causing pain.
Exercises to improve your posture
Maintaining a correct posture is not a big task; it takes very little effort. “However, changing your habitual incorrect posture and making a habit of good posture might take some time,” says Dr. Surya Prakash, an experienced spine specialist in Hyderabad. Though exercise takes around four to six weeks to make it a routine, you see real changes.
Superman poses: Lie down on your stomach and elevate your arms & legs a couple of inches upwards off the ground. Hold for a few seconds, relax and repeat.
Core exercises: Crunches, planks and leg extensions are potential exercises to strengthen your core muscles.
Neck extension: Sit in a chair in a comfortable position, and push back your head firmly into the chair or into your and hold for a few seconds. Do it multiple times to build strength.
Shoulder blades: Work on your trapezius and rhomboid muscles to strengthen your shoulders back. Hold a stretchable band at your shoulder height, then pull it across your chest, and return to normal position. Repeat it a few times.
Remember all these exercises need to be practised under an experienced trainer as suggested by the doctor.
How to prevent bad posture?
The first step is not to slouch and be aware of your posture. So often, we get involved in what we’re doing and forget about our posture.
Observe your posture frequently, or it is better to make a habit to check how you’re standing, sitting, or walking throughout the day. For example, make adjustments when you notice you are slouching or hunching on your back or shoulders or when you lean your head or neck forward to watch a screen.
Here are some of the strategies that can help you to avoid slouching and maintain a good posture.
Stand tall – You might not take care of your standing position, but how you stand makes a big difference in your posture. Therefore, it is very important to stand straight and tall with good posture, and with relaxed shoulders & pulled back slightly.
Sit correctly – When you sit anywhere, ensure you are using good posture; sit straight with relaxed shoulders, avoid hunched or rounded posture.
Move around – When you sit or stand for more time, don’t hold in one position because it can cause muscle tension and discomfort. If you are in a reclined position, the effects might be even more severe. So move around and change your position or posture frequently.
Sleep in the correct position – Improper sleeping posture can also cause back pain. So maintain a proper sleeping posture, sleep facing upwards or sideways. The pillow height should be at the level of your head, neck, and upper back.
Lift weights properly – The correct lifting position is bending your knees, like almost sitting on the ground, keeping the object close to your body, and then stand up along with the object using your leg strength – not your back.
Take care of poor sports techniques – Playing sports is the best form of exercise, but it leads to back pain if you don’t use the right technique. Rigorous exercises and repeated stress might cause spinal injuries and back muscle inflammation which eventually leads to herniated discs. Ensure to warm- up by stretching and flexing your muscles every time you start to play any sport and also watch your posture.
Back pain due to posture problems is way too common. However, some simple tricks and techniques can help you to prevent it. To know more information or suffering from chronic back pain, consult Dr. Surya Prakash, Spine Surgeon and one of the best back pain specialists in Hyderabad.