How posture influences back and neck pain
Posture can have a detrimental effect on your spinal health. The way your spine is aligned when you sit at your desk, lay in your bed, lift weights, or when you perform any other activities may greatly influence whether or not you will develop back or neck pain.
If sustained over an extended period of time, poor posture can lead to pain in the back, neck, legs, arms, shoulders, and hips, for example, as well as stiffness, muscle fatigue and a visible deformity of the back.
What constitutes good posture and bad posture?
Having a good posture means having your spine aligned in a neutral position, where it is not bent in an unnatural manner.
To make it easier to understand, below you can find some examples of poor posture instead and compare them with the definition above. Bad posture can include:
- Slumped shoulders, which are rounded forward.
- Head tilted forward, where the neck is bent in a more horizontal angle, rather than being upright. When the head is tilted too far backward instead, this can also indicate the presence of poor posture.
- Arching of the upper back.
What causes poor posture?
Bad posture can be the result of various lifestyle factors and habits, as well as some spinal disorders. These include:
- Sitting down for long periods of time, especially without having adequate back support, such as working at a desk for long hours at a time.
- Sleeping on a mattress that does not support your back properly.
- Engaging in activities that require frequent bending and straining of the spine, such as lifting heavy objects, either as part of your job or as part of a workout routine.
- Excessive weight that strains the back.
- Spinal disorders that alter the shape of the spine, such as scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis, and ankylosing spondylitis.
- Flat back syndrome.
- Weakened core and back muscles. Core muscles are inner muscles that help support out torso and hold it upright, along with back muscle groups. When they become weak, they no longer provide the adequate support required for our backs, and as such it is harder to maintain good posture. Additionally, having weak back and core muscles also increases the risk of a back muscle strain.
How to correct posture
There are many ways that traditionally help improve posture. These include:
- Mind your posture and try to catch yourself when you start to notice changes in the way that your neck, shoulders and back are positioned. Sit up straight and pull your shoulders back
- Strengthen the muscles of your back as they are responsible for holding your torso upright and maintaining good posture. However, be mindful while engaging in strengthening exercises and avoid injuring your back, provided that it is currently not strong enough. That being said, avoid exercising for a long time at once, spending no more than an hour a day on exercising.
- Invest in a good mattress that supports you back while you sleep.
- Work with a physical therapist to improve the mobility and strength of your spine.
However, an even better approach is to use posture devices that are meant for posture correction. One example is wearing a brace posture corrector in the form of a lumbar support belt. It’s even better if the support belt has an incorporated spinal decompression mechanism, to decompress your spine in addition to supporting it.
Another alternative that is also part of the posture correctors category is to engage in spinal decompression therapy with the help of a spinal decompression device, called the Backrack.
Backrack Spinal Decompression Device
Spinal decompression for posture correction
What makes the Backrack different from other devices meant for posture correction is the unique mechanism that it uses to relieve back pain. The device itself is made out of several wooden rows, each one of them equipped with two wooden nodules. As one lays on the rack, the spine fits perfectly in between the two nodules on each row.
To get the benefits of spinal decompression, one has to perform a few simple exercises. The motion of the exercises combined with the static nature of the device allows the nodules to push, pull and shift the vertebrae of the spine. Over time, the length and shape of the back changes in way that doesn’t press down on other spinal structures.
Because the shape of the spine has now been restored, back pain and neck pain are relieved on a long-term basis and as such, shall not return, especially if the device is used further on a regular basis.
However, it must be noted that for people suffering from spinal disorders such as kyphosis, scoliosis, lordosis and ankylosing spondylitis, the device does not correct the altered shape of the spine, but it does provide pain relief and decompression.
Please note: If you suffer from back pain that does not improve, or even gets worse, talk to your doctor and seek medical advice to obtain a diagnosis and adequate medical care for any underlying conditions that may be causing your symptoms.