Plenty of people stress the importance of good posture but don’t quite explain the lasting damage that poor posture can have.
Muscle aches and stiffness are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to postural problems. Failing to sit and stand properly can lead to chronic neck and back pain.
At Advantage Spinal Dynamics & Innovative Medicine in Meridian, Idaho, our team of experienced medical practitioners provides diagnostic help to ascertain if your lower back pain or neck pain is caused by poor posture and, if so, how to deal with it.
Complications of poor posture
If you’ve ever spent hours stooped over a keyboard, smartphone, or hand-held game, you’re likely familiar with the radiating ache in your neck, shoulders, and lower back.
Poor posture is one of the most common causes of neck and back pain. If left uncorrected, that hunch in your back can cause lasting problems.
Along with chronic pain, poor posture can also lead to more surprising complications, including:
1. Pinched nerves
If you’ve ever sat or slept in a cramped position, you might have felt the sharp pain of a pinched nerve. People with consistently poor posture are not only more likely to pinch a nerve, but they’re at risk of recurring incidents and chronic pain caused by impingement.
2. Headaches and jaw pain
Most people with poor posture tend to lean forward, overextending their necks and jutting their heads forward. This position can make you clench your teeth and stiffen your shoulders, causing headaches, muscle strain, and jaw pain.
3. Digestive problems
Slouching can put pressure on your digestive system. This pressure can cause stomach aches, acid reflux, and bloating, all of which are unpleasant. Some people even end up with difficulty going to the bathroom.
Correcting your posture
To fix your posture, you must know what you’re doing wrong. One way to gauge your posture is to place your back against a wall, your heels 2-4 inches from the base. Your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks should touch the wall, with a little space at the curve of your back.
Common types of poor posture include:
- Kyphosis, or hunchback, where the shoulders are rounded forward
- Forward head, or tech neck, where the head is jutting forward
- Flatback, where the small of the back doesn’t curve inward properly
- Swayback, where the small of the back is exaggerated
It can be difficult to diagnose postural problems on your own, even with a wall and a mirror. A spinal specialist can evaluate how you stand, walk, and sit to determine what’s wrong with your posture.
From there, they can help you correct the issue. At Advantage Spinal Dynamics, our team uses a variety of treatments to improve posture and reduce pain. These include:
- Special exercises and stretches
- Chiropractic manipulation
- Decompression therapy
- Massage therapy
Your doctor might also recommend things like back braces, seat cushions, and setting periodic alarms to keep your posture at the forefront of your mind. Most people fail to permanently correct their posture because they eventually forget to maintain it.
If you want to fix your bad posture for good, schedule a consultation by calling 208-213-7963, or request an appointment online.