If you have a pain, cramp, or ache in your back, it could be due to a poor posture. There are many ways to get a poor posture, and having one can lead to a host of problems.
Kenneth Varley, MD, an expert pain management doctor at Southern Pain Specialists sees posture-related concerns all too often. In patients who complain of hip, neck, and back pain, the root cause is often a postural issue.
How a poor posture can develop
You can develop a poor posture in a number of ways. All it takes is to not keep your spine aligned for long periods of time. Among the ways you can develop a poor posture are the following:
- You bend your neck down to look at your phone often
- You sit at a computer for work and hunch your shoulders or crane your neck
- You slouch on the couch while watching TV
- You have a laborious job, such as gardening or dishwashing, which requires you to hunch or crouch for long periods of time
- You often pick up heavy objects by bending your spine
As you can see, it can be easy to develop a poor posture.
How a poor posture can affect your body
A poor or incorrect posture can lead to a number of harmful outcomes. Below are three of the most common issues related to a poor posture.
Pain and mobility issues
A forward head posture is one of the most common posture complications seen today. Characterized by a neck that cranes forward, a curved upper back, and rounded shoulders, this posture is typically the result of too much screen time. Whether you spend most of your time looking at a computer, phone, or television, you can develop a forward head posture if you spend too much time in this unnatural position.
People with a forward head posture often experience chronic, dull pain in their head, neck, and shoulders. Over the long term, this postural mistake can lead to mobility issues in your neck, shoulders, and upper back, and it can also lead to the weakening of respiratory muscles.
A poor posture can also lead to inflexibility and immobility if it isn’t treated and managed. Here’s a test: Can you fully stretch out your arms and pull your arms back so that your biceps are parallel with your ears? Do you feel a pinch or stiffness in your upper back when you try?
If you can’t do that exercise without pain or tightness, you probably have some work to do on your upper spine. When the thoracic and cervical spines become misaligned, it can manifest as stiffness, which may hinder your ability to do everyday activities.
This one can be a never-ending cycle. A poor posture can contribute to a weak core, and a weak core can contribute to a poor posture. Your core muscles are those that reside in your torso. If you sit all day, there’s a good chance you have an unnatural curvature in your spine. This can lead to weak core muscles, which can further perpetuate a bad posture, because a strong core supports your spinal column and helps keep it in a neutral position.