Does posture cause pain?

August 28th, 2018 Posted by Wellness 0 thoughts on “Does posture cause pain?”

The effects of posture on pain is misunderstood. To answer the question, posture does not cause pain alone.

The body has a tremendous ability to adapt. It adapts by responding to whatever load or stress that is placed on it. That is why a bodybuilder can curl weights to grow his biceps over a period of time. Strength training as it relates to muscle building is a common example of how a body responds to load.

Other structures adapt as well in various predictable patterns. Simply put, as you sit and slump, your posture will respond accordingly. Pain can occur if you load your body in a way that it is not used to.

Real-World Example

Here is a common example that might make things a bit clearer. Take a person that works at a desk such as an administrator. As the administrator is slouched in their chair, their back may round and the shoulders may come forward.

The rounded (or forward-flexed) back and forward shoulders make it less advantageous to do things that require you to extend your back say as with an individual reaching over-head.

That can manifest itself in that same administrator if they decide to paint a room in their house one day, or throw a ball with a friend or family member. Reaching overhead can increase stress on the low back since it is not accustomed to that position.

How about the forward shoulders? That puts the shoulder — and shoulder blade — in a disadvantageous position. This can make reaching overhead stressful on the shoulders. Higher demand activities such as throwing a ball can pain or tissue damage with limited range of motion that can result from poor posture.

So as you can see, it isn’t necessarily the posture that effects people however being in one position for too long can create muscle imbalances across the body. Static postures can make other activities more difficult or, place you at a higher risk of injury.

How to avoid this?

Ultimately, staying active while varying your exercise type is the best way to maintain fitness and prevent risk for injury. Challenge yourself with exercises in different positions and postures. This will keep you physically prepared for any and all tasks you enjoy doing.

Remember, your body responds to whatever load and stress you give it. If it is in one posture and doing the same activity every day, your body will start accommodating to form its body to handle that task. A seated, slumped posture is not a good training position for much else other than sitting.

Next week’s post will address common stretches to perform for those that find themselves having to sit a lot.

Getting an evaluation by a physical therapist will help determine areas that can be improved upon to prevent or recover from injury as well as help design the right program for you.

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The above is not a substitute for medical advice and does not take place for seeking a healthcare provider.

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