With 80% of the population experiencing back pain at some time in their lives, it should be no surprise that there are a number of injuries that can cause back pain. For example:
- We can injure our back from lifting, pushing or pulling things.
- Motor vehicle accidents have also been known to initiate back and neck pain.
- Slips and falls create their fair-share of back injuries.
However, with all the ways that we can hurt our back, the most common and most significant back injury comes from… are you ready?
It’s poor posture.
Whether poor posture is the primary injury source, a secondary factor or a co-contributor, years of poor posture is often linked to the origin of significant and permanent back conditions. Unchecked poor posture will create low back pain, neck pain, headaches, hip pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, or pain that radiates down your arm or leg, to name but a few. Posture awareness is paramount if we intend to avoid these debilitating conditions. Quite frankly, these are the AVOIDABLE conditions we often identify with the axiom, “I’m just getting old”.
It does not have to be that way.
While there are three basic postures; sitting, standing, and lying down, relative to posture awareness and correction, our concern should always be that we are level, straight and balanced.
Being level, straight and balanced is easy to see in the standing position. From the front or back, we should be up straight, soft-knees (slightly bent), with our shoulders and head level. The palms of our hands should also be inward facing toward our thighs. From the side, our ears should be over our shoulders and our shoulders, hips, and ankles should be in alignment. If you have any deviations and you find it difficult to achieve this posture, chances are you have stress on your structure that is likely causing localized areas of disc and joint degeneration. This is always accompanied with joint dysfunction causing progressive wear and tear.
You should sit squarely and evenly in the chair with a cushion supporting your lower back. Again, your ear should be over your shoulder or your seat back tilled back a little. While this might be good position in the car, it is not a feasible posture for doing desk work where our head is hanging in front of our shoulders. Consider all the time during the day that you do this. Computer work, texting, even eating. It adds up. These often cause a localized progressive degeneration of the joints of our neck.
Sleeping should be a piece of cake, right? Possibly so, except that we assume this position for typically 6-8 hours a day. Again, the stress on our structure can add up. Here too, we must think level and straight. Are you sleeping on your back with too many pillows? Think about where your ear should be… over your shoulder. Simply replace your pillow(s) with a towel roll under your neck to support the forward curve in your neck. However, while sleeping on your side, your pillow should be flat, providing enough thickness to support your head evenly, not too high or low. You might also want to draw your knees up a little and put a small pillow between your knees.
If you have any questions or need help fixing your posture, please be sure to contact our office.
For better health, Naturally!