If you spend most of your day at work slouching at your desk, or leaning back in your chair focusing on reports, you’re not doing your back any favors. The second you go home and try and pull some weeds from the garden, or try and lift some boxes from one room to the next, you may feel twinges of pain and stiffness – both of these can be attributed to lower back pain that is most commonly caused by poor posture. In addition to buying a lower lumbar support pillow to use at your desk, read this article. It will explain just why poor posture leads to back pain and what else you can do to alleviate.
How Does Poor Posture Lead to Back Pain?
Whilst you may not feel any pain while you’re sitting at your desk for a few hours, the more often you slouch, the more you are stressing your spine. This can lead to anatomical changes that are near impossible to reverse. Not only can this lead to problems with your muscles, joints and tissues, it can also constrict your nerves and blood vessels, something again which can cause considerable pain. So, we’ve established that stress on the spine leads to back pain, but are there any telling characteristics?
If your back pain is caused by poor posture, you may notice one or more of these signs:
- Sudden back pain that you believe is caused by a new office chair, a new job, a new car etc.
- Pain that seems to get better if you stand up or switch positions
- Pain that begins in your neck and gradually moves down into your back
- Pain that gets worse at certain times of the day
How to Improve Your Posture
Since improving your posture is one of the easiest ways to get rid of back pain for good, this is one thing that you’ll want to do as soon as possible.
If you’re like most people, you sit in one position for eight hours a day, five or six days a week. While we’re not going to suggest you look for a more active job, it is imperative that you practice good posture when sitting down. To sit properly:
- Ensure your back is flush with the chair and that your head isn’t leaning forward.
- Keep your shoulders tall with your arms flexed at the elbows at around a 90 degree angle.
- If sitting at a desk, try and keep your knees a little above your hips, or level with them if sitting elsewhere.
- Keep your feet flat to the floor or invest in a footrest.
- Invest in a lumbar support cushion. These are specially designed to be used for back support, and can help to eliminate lower back pain.
That said, it’s also important to practice good posture when standing as well. Here are some tips for this:
- Keep your head balanced above your spine and look at what’s in front of you as opposed to the ground.
- If you regularly look at a cell phone when walking, stop, as this will immediately encourage you to slouch as you walk.
- Avoid drooping your shoulders and remain tall.
- Push off from the front of your foot and land on your heel.
If you do a lot of lifting at work, it’s also vital to make sure you do this properly. Remember to bend your hips not your back, and consider investing in some training to avoid placing additional strain on your back.
Poor posture is one of the leading causes of lower back pain. Stop the problem from getting any worse by following the tips above.