It is very rare to find someone with a perfect body posture. There are numerous reasons that can be attributed to why many of us have poor postures. In certain cases, the problems are congenital (birth defects) while in other cases; the poor posture may be a result of an old injury or a disease. But the most common reason for poor postural alignment is due to the posture that we adopt due to a certain occupation or lifestyle. Due to the poor postural alignment, many of us suffer with chronic and acute back pain. A very common example of how posture can cause back pain is the military posture. Many of us find ourselves in situations such as an interview or a meeting in which we want to appear very attentive. Therefore, we try to sit up as straight as we can. After a certain period of time we feel pain and tension in the lower back and our shoulder. This occurs due to more stress on certain muscles and joints due to which they have to overwork and are fatigued.
Common Postural Problems
By adopting a poor posture, our spine, shoulders, hips and knees take a certain amount of toll. This may result in a number of structural abnormalities that in turn lead to back pain, joint pain, reduced mobility and muscle stiffness. Another adverse effect is nerve constriction. Due to the changing shape of the spine, the new working and movement of the muscles and joints put pressure on the nearby spinal nerves. As the nerves connect the spine to all parts of the body, these pinched nerves do not only cause neck and back pain, but also cause pain in other parts of the body. Some of the common postural problems are as under.
The pectoris minor muscles are recruited by the body for the stabilisation of the sternoclavicular joints due to which the shoulders are brought forward. The upper trap tries to support the shoulder from the neck as the shoulders have been brought forward.
Anterior Pelvic Tilt
The 2nd lower lumbar vertebra (L2) are unstable and the transverse abs are not providing enough support due to which the psoas and iliacus are tightened by the body. Unstable hip joints are a common finding in this case due to stretched joint capsules.
The muscle that runs from the ribs to the shoulder blades is weak. This muscle is present under the chest. The levator scapula muscle is in spams which are being supported by a tight upper trap.
This is the opposite of the elevated shoulder. A person suffering from this problem might appear to have a long neck than most as the shoulder sits lower than its normal position. In normal cases, the 2nd Thoracic vertebra down should be in live with the top of the medial border and T7 should be at the same height as the bottom of the shoulder blades. If they are not lined up properly, the shoulders seem depressed. This is the result of either the shortening of Pectoralis Major and minor (Chest muscles) and Latissimus Dorsi muscles or the lengthening of Upper trapezius and Serratus Anterior muscles.
Forward Head Posture
In this case, the head seems out in front of the body like it is being extended intentionally. This increases the curvature of the neck. This case commonly occurs along with Kyphosis and medially rotated arms. Any or all of the muscles that are responsible for the extension of the upper neck, flexing of the lower neck and protracting the head may be lengthened or shortened in this case.
How poor posture affects daily life?
The problems that occur due to poor posture are not just limited to back, neck and shoulder pain. There are also numerous other problems that come with it. The posterior muscles of the neck undergo extra strain due to hunching over and looking down causing headaches. Due to poor posture, all the muscles are not relaxed which cause sleeping problems. Although it may seem completely unrelated but a recent study from the Health Psychology journal suggests that the people with poor posture exhibit lower self-esteem, fear and negative moods as compared to the people sitting straight up. This study also suggested that people slouching over at work lack motivation as compared to those who sit up because they appear more confident, professional and approachable which gives them an edge in many social interactions.
As discussed earlier, the misalignment of the muscles might pinch certain nerves along the spinal cord due to which foot pain is a common occurrence restricting mobility and physical activity. Also, the misalignment could cause certain muscles to be overworked as compared to the others during workouts which would in turn increase the recovery time. Another rather serious issue that arises from the pinched is carpel tunnel syndrome. Fatigue, constipation and high blood pressure are also some of the problems that occur due to restricted or low mobility.
Fortunately, with all the research that is available related to the poor posture, there are certain techniques that can be applied to our everyday routines which can eliminate fully or at least partially the negative impacts of poor posture. A very simple addition which can be made to our daily routine is trying to walk tall while running errands or working out which can eliminate back pain and improve our posture. Another effective way to fix posture problems is to use back support while you sit. Try Backrack™ Chair Back Support specially designed for home and office use. It has a very unique concept and can be easily installed on the work chairs in your home or at your workplace. We also offer Backrack™ Car Seat Back Support for people who travel a lot or work as drivers. It can easily be installed in all means of transportation. These back supports provide stability to your back during every day routine. These products are very effective and help reducing back pain and stiffness in the muscles, provide more flexibility and mobility, rid you of the muscular pain and tension and have absolutely no side effects.