Stiff neck? Sore back? – Lets look at your posture

by Vanessa Boon, Physiotherapist

Stiff neck? Sore back? – Lets look at your posture

Do you sit or stand at a desk all day? Do you get recurring neck/back pain or headaches? The issue could be your posture. 80-90% of us would have experienced back pain at some point in our lives. With poor posture our backs are less able to withstand day to day forces and over time, will start to give you grief. Majority of back pain actually stems from poor posture. By being able to maintain a neutral spine (proper posture) with each movement, you can train your back to withstand day to day forces and more, pain free!

Bad posture is a habit – you can change it

Do you find it hard to maintain good posture? That is because maintaining good posture requires:

  1. Learning new movement patterns
  2. Changing/retraining years and years of poor movement patterns.

Your body will do what it has learned to do over the years. For example, if you body has learned to hunch while sitting, you will hunch.

Poor posture can affect you more than you think! – the big 3

Neck/Back pain

Neutral spine is when our spine is in its optimal alignment. In this position, our ligaments and muscles work optimally and have the least amount of stress placed on them. Poor posture puts excess stress on all the structures in our back. Our muscles have to work overtime to hold us up against gravity and with excessive stress our joints also start to degrade, both of which can cause pain.

Headaches

Did you know that your posture could be the cause of your headaches? Poor posture (neck protruding forward as well as hunching over) puts immense strain on the muscles around the neck. Over time these can cause referred pain behind the eyes or to the back of the head .

Have you heard of text neck? This is when the neck is injured from constantly holding your neck in a downward/forward position. Different degrees of forward head posture place excessive force on the neck, which can strain the neck and cause headaches:

  • At 15 degrees = 12.3kg
  • At 30 degrees = 18.2kg
  • At 45 degrees = 22.3kg
  • At 60 degrees = 27.3kg

Mood & Stress

Basically, poor posture = negative emotions. The longer you sit, the more likely you are to experience depressive symptoms. If you sit for longer than 7 hours a day you are 47% more likely to have depressive symptoms. A study done on stress and posture found that those who sat upright had a higher self-esteem with better moods while those who sat in a slumped position generally had more negative emotions. Another study found that those who adopted power postures had an increase in testosterone and a decrease in stress hormones by 25%!

Here at BOSIC we know how crucial mental health is which is why we offer a complimentary postural screen. Give us a call to find out more today!