How Can Poor Posture Result in Back Pain?

Do you find yourself slumped over your desk at work often? Does it feel natural to stand up straight or do you often lean on one leg? Most people are aware they have poor posture, however, this poor posture can lead to lower back pain. Both standing and sitting places pressure on the lower back. While standing exerts around five times more pressure than lying down, sitting is even more strenuous. If this pressure is placed unevenly on the spine, it can lead to back pain.

You may not feel any ill-effects with your poor posture now, but over time the stress that poor posture places on your certain parts of your body can lead to anatomical changes in your spine. This leads to back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. Poor posture also causes problems with your muscles, discs, and joints.


How Do You Get Back Pain Due to Poor Posture?

When the spine is straight, the weight of your body can be evenly distributed along each vertebrae. When the spine is curved, most of that weight is placed on a few vertebrae, generally in the lumbar region in the lower back (L1-L5). When you slouch, the muscles, tendons and joints in the lower back all have to work harder.

Some common ways you can get back pain due to poor posture include:

  • Sitting for extended periods of time – Prolonged sitting causes the intrinsic and extrinsic muscles to become weaker and overstretched as well as shortening hip flexors, interrupting blood circulation and uneven weight on your discs.
  • Slouching while sitting – Backwards rotation of the pelvis and flexion of the spine from the slouching posture results in a dorsal widening of the intervertebral disc at the L5-S1 level and places strain on the iliolumbar ligaments.
  • Leaning on one leg – Instead of your core muscles and buttocks maintaining a neutral standing position, excessive pressure is place on one hip, causing your abductor to overwork and your gluteal muscles to weaken. This leads to muscle imbalances in the pelvis, causing pain the lower back, hip, buttocks, neck and shoulder.
  • Phone texting posture – Constantly dropping your head to look at your phone places excessive strain on the muscles of your neck and strains the trapezius, changing the natural curvature of your spine.

Other postures that place imbalances on your spine and lead to back pain include stooping forward, sticking your buttocks out while standing and standing with a sway back.


Preventing Back Pain Due to Poor Posture

There are many ways you can prevent and reduce back pain due to poor posture:

  • Avoid slouching when standing or sitting
  • Make sure work surfaces are at an appropriate height
  • Always stretch before exercise or physical activity
  • Wear comfortable, low heeled shoes
  • Sleep on a firm surface
  • Maintain a healthy diet
  • Switch sitting position often and periodically walk around to relieve tension
  • Practice low-impact exercises that strengthen your lower back, such as cycling and swimming.


Make an Appointment at Our Perth Clinic

Got back pain due to poor posture? Visit a chiropractor today. For more information on our physiotherapeutic muscle therapy or chiropractic adjustments, read our section on what to expect for your first visit. If you’re experiencing pain related to your spine, joints or soft tissue, make an appointment with our chiropractors today. To make an appointment, contact us online or call 08 9227 9341 today.