Do you suffer from daily or recurrent aches and pains? Do you find your back and neck getting stiff and sore at the end of the day? If so, your posture may be the culprit. Our physical therapists at Austin Manual Therapy can help determine what is causing your pain and give you the solutions you’re in search of.
The worse your posture is, the more intense your back and neck pain can become. Once your body gets used to poor posture, it becomes more challenging to make a quick adjustment back into a good posture.
The good news is that guidance from Austin Manual Therapy physical therapists can teach you how to correct your posture and bring you relief before it becomes a significant problem! Call our Austin, TX clinic today to make an appointment.
How posture affects pain
Posture refers to the position(s) of a person’s body in space. Prolonged postures, like sitting or standing for long periods, often lead to stiffness and soreness in the spine.
Too often, we spend our time staring at a computer screen, hunched over our desks, or looking down at our phones. These postures create a lot of stress on the neck and back, especially when slouched, tilted forward, or looking down for prolonged periods.
In the upper part of the spine, slouching will cause a forward-head posture. Slouching creates a strain on the neck muscles and joints, resulting in neck pain and upper back pain, and may lead to arm pain or chronic headaches.
Slouching also affects the mid-back by altering the way your ribs naturally align. Over time, sitting and standing like this day after day may cause internal issues, as it creates pressure on your lungs, heart, and digestive system.
The lower back is not immune to slouched posture either. Slouching posture causes increased pressure to the lumbar discs and causes the muscles in your hips and legs to tighten. This tension affects how the pelvis and spine move and often leads to lower back pain.
The most common symptom of poor posture is pain somewhere in the spine. The back muscles constantly contract to keep you upright, and they overcompensate when you slouch or hunch over. After a while, constant poor posture can create an unusual amount of wear and tear on the spine, increasing the risk of arthritis in the spine.
The good news is that working with a physical therapist to improve your posture with exercises is an effective way to overcome neck and back pain.
How physical therapy can help your posture
After years of practicing poor postural habits, your back, shoulder, and neck muscles will likely find standing or sitting with a straight posture to be challenging. Here are a few steps you can take to try and help:
Sit properly: If you are at a desk for extended periods of the day, make sure you sit upright. Make sure you scoot your buttocks to the back of the chair and sit back against the backrest of the chair. Use a lumbar support to make sure you maintain the upright position.
Take breaks: If you are an office worker, most of the day is spent sitting behind a computer. It is vital to make sure that you get up every 30-45 minutes and take a short walk, at least for a minute or two.
Exercise: Taking the time to walk or jog around the neighborhood every day can
highly improve your well-being. Exercise is essential, primarily if your job produces several hours of inactivity. Strengthening is also an effective way to reduce the risk of injury to your neck and back.
What should I expect in physical therapy?
Physical therapy is the ideal tool for providing you with an opportunity to understand what may be causing your pain. We can help you mobilize your spine and strengthen the surrounding muscles to alleviate the pain associated with your poor postural habits.
Physical therapists are dedicated to getting you back on track to a pain-free life. They will evaluate your posture to determine the best treatments necessary for you, and then they will
create a treatment plan unique for your needs.
Your therapist will teach you strategies like:
- Stand tall whenever you are standing or walking.
- Use support when you sit to keep your posture correct.
- Maintain a straight spine when you lift heavy objects.
Improve your posture, improve your life
If you are experiencing pain and think it may result from your posture, give Austin Manual Therapy a call today. Addressing your posture early on is the best way to prevent an issue from becoming more debilitating!