Is your back sore after a long day of work? Do you get neck pain after sitting in the car for a long time? It may be your posture.
Poor posture can lead to a variety of symptoms and pain in your back and neck. With the increased use of phones and computers in recent years and with more opportunities to work from home or have virtual learning, it’s important to understand how posture affects your body and how to maintain proper body mechanics to avoid pain.
Most of what we do occurs in front of us, such as driving, cooking, writing, computer work, and scrolling through social media. Over time if we forget to think about our posture, our muscles can get tight and stuck in a certain way that can cause pain. Whether you’re sitting at your computer desk at work, driving long distances for meetings and appointments, or standing at work all day, it’s important to be aware of proper upright posture.
How does posture relate to neck pain?
When we put a lot of stress on our muscles, it alters our spinal alignment and leads to muscle tightness, which can cause:
• Tension headaches
• Neck pain that runs along the shoulder blades
• Radicular pain or numbness in the hand
• Shoulder pain at rest or with arm movement
How does posture relate to back pain?
Prolonged sitting can cause tightness in the hip flexor muscles in the front of this hips, tilt the pelvis forward, and increase tightness in the low back when standing or laying down. Frequent position changes and stretching can help prevent and alleviate the pain over time.
What does good posture look like?
• Feet on the floor
• Back upright – no slouching – can use lumbar support to assist with this
• Ears, shoulders, and hips aligned in an invisible line
• Computer or phone at eye level to avoid looking down for prolonged periods
• Ears, shoulder, and hips aligned in an invisible line
• Shoulders aligned at the same height – avoid hiking one shoulder up if carrying a purse or backpack
If you have persistent back, neck, or shoulder pain, contact Sport & Spine to see one of our therapists. We will get you back in tip-top shape and ready to take on the day. No referral is needed for some insurance!