Improve Your Symptoms by Improving Your Posture
Back Pain and Posture
Remember your mother telling you to stand or sit up straight. Wives tales such as one telling you that if you cross your eyes too much they will stay that way are not backed up by hard science, but the one about posture is. Your posture and the way you carry yourself when sitting, walking, and carrying things can affect your back. Good posture is all about regaining and maintaining a sound, stable, unimpaired position. When are out of a good postural alignment, we may be straining or stretching our muscles and ligaments, and putting more mechanical stress on our intervertebral discs than our body can handle.
All of the structures in our backs and necks (muscles, nerves, ligaments, discs, bones) function best when they are upright and in the proper alignment. Poorly aligned posture may be the cause of back pain and neck conditions. Continued chronic poor posture may contribute to structural changes such as ligament laxity, degenerative disk disease, arthritis, and muscle tightness. By learning the components of good posture, you can have your spine function optimally and avoid needless pain and injury.
The Results of Bad Posture: Our bodies are designed to heal and thrive even when we put bad things into it, tax our structure with excess body weight, experience degenerative changes to certain structures, and use poor structural techniques. However, when we make these bad posture choices and then hold ourselves in then for long periods of time, we bring our bodies to the breaking point. Improper posture over time leads to muscle shortening, muscle weakness and fatigue, muscle spasms, and loss of range of motion in the spine, hip joints, and shoulder joints. Even the muscles and ligaments may become so worn out or that they fail to support the discs of your back. This can cause arthritis and disc derangement (bulging and herniated discs). Poor postural techniques may include being slumped over the computer, a curved back while lifting heavy objects, and participating in vigorous workouts without the proper stretching.
Good posture and being good to Your Body
Try building a tower using blocks and imagine that you are building the backbone of your body. Which type of tower would be the most likely to hold up when you apply a pressure to the top of it? A tower where the blocks are perfectly aligned of course. Our own bodies are much more stable than a collection of blocks, of course, even those that are older or have had some type of back injury. Our human tower is supported by muscles and ligaments. However - a badly aligned upright position comes at a dear price to our poor bodies, muscle spasms, joint wearing, or disc degeneration may result over time. Good postural techniques may include using the proper footwear, alignment while, seated and standing, and how you hold yourself up in your upper body. In general, consider the natural curvature of your back. You will want to maintain a posture that keeps this curvature held in position while doing all work related (sitting, lifting, carrying) and play (exercise, TV watching) related things. For more information about the natural curvature of the back, click here.