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Does Bad Posture Cause Back Pain

Can A Chiropractor Fix Posture

Does “Poor” Posture Lead To Pain?

Chiropractic Adjustments can help correct poor posture, but even if you are working on it yourself it is important to get regular chiropractic care. There are several reasons for this. First, your chiropractor can make adjustments to your spine, providing you with a much wider range of motion and better mobility.

How Poor Posture At The Office Can Lead To Negative Long

You probably know the signs of poor posture at work rounded shoulders, head slouching forward, or body hunched over the keyboard for hours. What you may not realize, however, is that these bad habits are not only causing discomfort in the short term but also contributing to long-term problems.

Here at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Thomas Jones II and our highly trained staff provide comprehensive care for people with acute or chronic spine conditions. For patients in Houston, Pearland, and Lake Jackson, Texas, Dr. Jones employs minimally invasive techniques to create optimal results and recovery time.

So if you’re feeling pain and strain in your body, these might be the result of bad posture. Heres how poor posture at the office can lead to negative long-term effects:

Best Tip For Chest Pain Due To Poor Posture

A poor sitting posture is the most common cause of muscular chest pain or rib pain, according to my professional experience. The following is a simple fix that I prescribe for my patients, and you will thank me later:

The solution: an orthopedic seat wedge to move your spine in an optimal position while engaging your core muscles while you sit. Sounds simple? It is!

I explain the concept of an orthopedic seat cushion on a TV show HERE!

An orthopedic seat wedge is a solution. A sitting wedge will increase your upper legs angle relative to your torso and provide a better sitting surface. Wedge chairs provide a better sitting experience, but youll still need to sit upright while using them. If you use them correctly, then you will sit upright. The forward tilt of your pelvis improves the inward curve in your lower spine. Sitting upright will naturally distribute your weight and minimize stress on your spines joints, discs, and ligaments.

I was surprised how similar cheap memory foam seat cushions were on Aliexpress from the listing on Amazon!

Also Check: How To Rid Upper Back Pain

Take Our Posture Test: How To Tell If You Have Bad Posture

Somewhere between 50-80% of Americans complain of back pain during their lifetime. Poor posture is one of the main contributing factors that cause back pain.

Besides looking like a shy person, whats the big deal about having bad posture?

Actually, it is a big deal. Without proper posture, your health can quickly deteriorate and prevent your muscles and joints from working in an optimal way. Poor posture also plays a role in how you feel and certainly in how you look.

Read on to learn the signs of bad and good posture. At the end take our posture test to rate your posture.

Help Yourself To Good Posture

4 types of bad posture and how to correct each of them

You can improve your posture by practicing some imagery and a few easy exercises.

  • Imagery. Think of a straight line passing through your body from ceiling to floor . Now imagine that a strong cord attached to your breastbone is pulling your chest and rib cage upward, making you taller. Try to hold your pelvis level don’t allow the lower back to sway. Think of stretching your head toward the ceiling, increasing the space between your rib cage and pelvis. Picture yourself as a ballerina or ice skater rather than a soldier at attention.

  • Chin tuck. Sit comfortably in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Keep your shoulders relaxed and down. Hold your head upright. Pull your chin in toward your neck hold that position for a count of five and then relax. Repeat 10 times. To help guide your head, you can gently apply pressure to your chin with two fingers.

  • Arm-across-chest stretch. Raise your right arm to shoulder level in front of you and bend the arm at the elbow, keeping the forearm parallel to the floor. Grasp the right elbow with your left hand and gently pull it across your chest so that you feel a stretch in the upper arm and shoulder on the right side. Hold for 20 seconds relax both arms. Repeat to the other side. Repeat three times on each side.

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How Is Low Back Pain Diagnosed

A complete medical history and physical exam can usually identify any serious conditions that may be causing the pain. Neurologic tests can help determine the cause of pain and appropriate treatment. Imaging tests are not needed in most cases but may be ordered to rule out specific causes of pain, including tumors and spinal stenosis. Occasionally the cause of chronic lower back pain is difficult to determine even after a thorough examination.

Tests include:

Blood tests are not routinely used to diagnose the cause of back pain but might be ordered to look for signs of inflammation, infection, cancer, and/or arthritis.

Bone scans can detect and monitor an infection, fracture, or bone disorder. A small amount of radioactive material is injected into the bloodstream and collects in the bones, particularly in areas with some abnormality. Scanner-generated images can identify specific areas of irregular bone metabolism or abnormal blood flow, as well as to measure levels of joint disease.

Discography involves injecting a contrast dye into a spinal disc thought to be causing low back pain. The fluids pressure in the disc will reproduce the persons symptoms if the disc is the cause. The dye helps to show the damaged areas on CT scans taken following the injection.

Electrodiagnostics can identify problems related to the nerves in the back and legs. The procedures include:

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Fix Your Back Pain From Home

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Sitting And Standing Posture

Our group has conducted several studies exploring the relationship between spine posture and back pain. We investigated whether slump sitting or non-neutral standing postures , in a large population of adolescents, were associated with, or predicted future back pain. We found little support for this view.

These findings are consistent with systematic reviews that have found no consistent differences in sitting or standing posture between adult populations with and without back pain.

People adopt a range of different spine postures, and no single posture protects a person from back pain. People with both slumped and upright postures can experience back pain.

Sticking Out Your Bottom Or Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Doctors Debunk 11 Myths About Posture And Back Pain | Debunked

High heels, belly fat, and pregnancy can all contribute to Donald Duck posture. However, one major culprit is most likely the many hours you spend sitting down every day.

To remedy your standing posture, imagine a string attached to the top of your head pulling you to the sky. Correct body alignment maintains the spines natural curvature, with a straight neck and shoulders parallel to the hips.

Make sure to keep the shoulders back yet relaxed and engage your abs. Keep your feet hip distance apart and balance your weight evenly on both feet. Keep your head fixed and neutral. Keep your legs straight, but knees relaxed.

Exercises to correct a Donald Duck posture are:


Side-lying leg raisesLie on your right side with your legs extended and on top of one another. Prop your head up with the palm of your right hand.

Without bending your knees, lift the left leg up as far as possible. Hold for 3 seconds and lower it again. Repeat until you complete a set and alternate sides.

Hip flexor stretchesStand with your feet hip-width apart and toes facing forward. Bend your right knee, and bring your right heel up towards your buttocks.

Hold your right foot with the right hand, and gently pull. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat with the other leg.

Anterior pelvic tilt is a very common thing, and although some experts argue that having a slight tilt is natural if it becomes too excessive it does not only look bad but can also cause lower back pain, knee pain, and ankle pain.

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Try This Quick Posture Check

When youre standing up, you should be able to imagine a straight line running from your ear through your shoulder, hip and knee to the middle of your ankle.

There are a number of simple ways in which you can help to improve your posture. While it may take some time and feel awkward at first to correct a posture that you are accustomed to, your back will thank you.

Some General Posture Pointers

To attain the neutral spine position, Markowski advises you to put your shoulders down and back, pull your head back, and engage your core muscles. “Bring your belly button in toward your spine, as if you’re zipping up a snug pair of jeans. This will help to engage the transverse abdominis muscle, which acts like a corset around the spine,” Markowski explains.

Other tips: Use a low back support pillow to remind you to sit upright in a chair, and change your position every 30 to 60 minutes. “We don’t want people in fixed postures for hours at a time,” Markowski says. “Be vigilant, and good posture will contribute to many aspects of health.”

Read Also: What Can I Do To Help My Lower Back Pain

What Is The Upper Back

If you want to understand your upper back pain, start with an anatomy lesson.

Pain in the upper and/or mid back is less common than lower back or neck pain. One 2015 Mayo Clinic review of studies suggests that about a third of people get lower back or neck pain , compared to less than one-fifth reporting upper back pain.

The upper back is the region below the cervical spine and above the low back . The upper back is called the thoracic spine, and it is the most stable part of the spine. The range of motion in the upper back is limited because of the spines attachments to the ribs .

Think of your spine as a tree trunk. It keeps you standing upright. It connects parts of your skeleton to each other. It carries the weight of your upper body.

Since thats a massive job, the spine itself shares some of the physical load with nearby muscles, some of which include:

  • Trapezius: Near your shoulder blade, helps you stand straight and throw
  • Latissimus dorsi: Lower on your back, helps with arm movement and breathing
  • Rhomboids: Adjacent to trapezius, supports your shoulders and helps you pull

When you hurt your upper or mid back doing yard work or playing tennis, chances are high youve injured one of these muscles. The most common reason we see people with upper back pain is a simple musculoskeletal strain, says Reginald Knight, MD, Director of Bassett Spine Care Institute in Cooperstown, NY.

Avoid Forward Bending & Stretch

Pin by Hebefit on Posture corrector

Weve mentioned earlier that poor posture is essentially forward bending becoming part of your posture. Youll often see people bending their neck forwards to try to stretch their shoulder muscles. You might even be guilty of this yourself! This doesnt help posture, it only stretches muscles that are already overstretched and tired. Avoiding these stretches will be really important if you want to succeed in improving your posture and reducing your back pain.

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Common Posture Mistakes And Easy Fixes

Maintaining strong posture, much like regular exercise, is a lifestyle. In fact, there are several common and damaging postural habits that can negatively affect your body alignment.

It may surprise you to know that these seemingly harmless habits can cause several medical issues including joint pain, decreased functionality of both internal organs and the muscles as well as tightened ligaments, hamstrings and back muscles.

These issues can greatly affect your quality of life! Your digestion and breathing suffers and so does your ability to exercise properly.

Over time, weak posture can push the chest cavity inwards, which leads to several cardiovascular and circulatory problems.

So, what exactly are these terrible habits that lead to a weak posture? I find that some common bad habits that you probably have are:

  • Leaning your head forward
  • Hunching over while sitting
  • Forgetting to take regular breaks from sitting down e.g. at work
  • Using one side more than the other, e.g. dominant use of one arm or putting more pressure on one leg.

Note: The dominant use of one arm can cause one shoulder to roll more forward than the other.

You can read more about bad postural habits here. Luckily, each of these bad habits mentioned above can be corrected with the following exercises.

Exercises That Improve Posture And Reduce Back Pain

If youre sitting at your desk right now like you do every day for eight-plus hours theres a strong chance you feel a twinge of discomfort somewhere.

Maybe its your lower back that starts to ache. Or your neck and shoulders get stiff by mid-afternoon.

Wherever the pain creeps up, its may be a sign that prolonged sitting is having an adverse effect on your body. Poor posture may also be to blame.

Poor posture and a weak core are two of the underlying causes of back pain and its often hard to avoid if you spend a lot of time behind a desk. You may not be able to ditch your desk, but there are simple movements you can do throughout the day to improve your posture to reduce back pain.

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Can Bad Posture Affect Your Heart

As a general rule, bad posture can affect your heart. Poor posture puts extra strain on your heart and can make it work harder than it needs to. This can lead to problems such as high blood pressure and arrhythmias.

In addition, bad posture can also cause chest pain and shortness of breath. If you have any heart condition, it is vital to maintain good posture and keep your heart healthy.

See A Physiotherapist And Chiropractor Regularly

Wake Up This “Hidden” Muscle to Fix HUNCHBACK Posture (aka Kyphosis)

Another easy way to reduce back pain is to see a chiropractor. If the spine has shifted, adjustments are used by chiropractors to return the spine to its original position. Not only will these adjustments help relieve chronic pain, but it will also make it much easier to maintain good posture in the future. Chiropractors take a holistic approach to treatment, so they can help manage chronic aches and pains not only in the back but throughout the body as well. In addition to providing stretching and exercise to help correct your posture, it can also help you make positive changes by evaluating your diet, exercise, sleep, and other factors that can affect your health.

Buy a helpful desk chair and mattress

If you spend a lot of time sitting at work, the chair you use can have a huge impact on your posture. If the chair is uncomfortable and does not support the natural curve of the back, it is easy to assume a squat position as a result. Instead of straightening your body unnaturally, find a desk chair with a high back that follows the curve of your spine. They also need to be made of supportive and lightweight materials to keep your muscles looking nice and comfortable.

Be sensitive of your alliance

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How To Do Back Extensions

  • Lie on your stomach, and bring your arms beneath you, bending your elbows so your hands are resting on the floor under your face
  • Keep your shoulders back and neck in line with your spine
  • Arch your back up by pushing down on your hands until you feel a gentle stretch on your stomach muscles
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, breathing all the time
  • Return to start position

Bonus Recommendation: Keep Moving

Sitting is the new disease. Get up and walk frequently to keep your muscles engaged and tensions at bay. The more you walk, the less your muscles will tighten, and the more you will elongate your back muscles. By adopting a good posture, youll also improve your balance in the long run.

Be mindful of how you walk, however.

  • Elongate the back and avoid slouching or leaning forward.
  • Pull your shoulders back in line with your ears.
  • Get up and walk for every 45 minutes you spend sitting.
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    How Do You Know If Chest Or Rib Pain Is Muscular

    As s general rule, the key thing to look for when determining if the chest or rib is muscular is whether the pain worsens with activity or specific movements? Does pressure on the affected area reproduce the pain if the pain is localized to a particular area? Then its very likely that your chest or rib pain has a muscular source.

    Muscular chest and rib pain is often aggravated by deep breathing, coughing, or sneezing. Its also important to note that muscular chest and rib pain are usually not accompanied by shortness of breath, heart palpitations, or sweating. If youre experiencing any of these other symptoms and chest or rib pain, its essential to see a doctor immediately as they could be signs of a more severe condition.

    If you think your chest or rib pain may be muscular, you can do a few things at home to help relieve the pain. First, try icing the affected area for 15-20 minutes. You can also take over-the-counter pain relievers to help reduce inflammation and pain. If your pain is particularly severe, you may want to consult a physical therapist who can help you develop an exercise program to stretch and strengthen your chest and back muscles. These simple steps can help reduce your chest or rib pain and get back to normal activities.


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