Back pain is very common and something that most people will experience in their lifetime. It can be very inconvenient!
Mostly, it will go away after a while – usually by three months – but occasionally it continues to return time and again. The reasons are varied, but what we do know now is that posture plays an important part in developing back pain as well as recovering from it. Some postures are better than others in preventing and recovering from back pain.
We know that prolonged sitting in a slouched position will increase the chance of back pain. However, going to the opposite end of the spectrum and sitting completely upright in a rigid position for long periods of time is not ideal either. In the latter case, the back muscles will often work too hard.
Your back is made to bend, so bending forward in itself is not a problem. Problems occur if you repeatedly bend forward and then add heavy and excessive loads.
The same goes for trying to find the “perfect posture”. Essentially, there is no perfect posture – the best posture is the next posture. A sedentary lifestyle is not healthy for the body, and the same rule applies to your spine. A variety of postures creating variability of movement is far better for your back and helps to prevent the onset of back pain.
Here are few tips that may help:
• A person who slouches all day and complains of pain should be encouraged to sit in a more upright position.
• A person who is rigid and upright and is complaining of pain may benefit from relaxing back in their chair and, as a result, reduce the over-activity of their spinal muscles.
• Move often – anyone who sits for long periods should be encouraged to take regular breaks and move more.
• Be active in the workplace. Get out of the chair, move from sitting to standing to walking. Take the stairs. The more movement, the better.
• Other factors can contribute to neck and back pain other than posture, including poor sleep patterns, stress, unhealthy lifestyle, and lack of regular physical activity.
Hope this helps