Do you often find yourself slouching in your chair? Do you have a hard time sitting up straight for long periods of time? If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with poor posture, which can lead to back and neck pain. Poor posture can be dangerous to the body, but there are ways to fix it.
How Poor Posture Can Cause Back and Neck Pain: The Dangers of Bad Posture and How to Fix It
Poor posture can cause unnecessary pain in the back and neck. It can also lead to other health problems, such as headaches, shoulder pain, and even nerve damage. Poor posture is often caused by sitting or standing in one position for too long, or slouching. However, there are some hidden causes of lower back pain that play a part in creating poor posture:
- Wearing high heels. Heels higher than 3 inches disrupt your spine’s alignment and put unnecessary stress on your feet.
- Carrying heavy bags or purses. Supporting this additional weight creates an imbalance that strains back and shoulder muscles. As your bag or purse pulls you forward, backward, or sideways, you compensate by leaning in the opposite direction, straining lower back muscles.
- Learn about more hidden causes of back pain by clicking here.
There are several ways to correct the problem. First, you need to be aware of your posture and make a conscious effort to sit or stand up straight. Second, try one of the following exercises that strengthen the muscles in your back and neck:
- Wall angels. Stand with your back against a wall and press your palms against it. Keep your back pressed firmly against the wall and slowly raise your arms up until they are in line with your ears. Hold for five seconds and then lower your arms. Watch a demonstration.
- Shoulder blade squeeze. Sit up straight in a chair and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for five seconds and then release. You can also perform this exercise standing by rotating your palms forward and squeeze your shoulder blades together. Watch a demonstration.
- Chin tuck exercise. Stretch/elongate your neck up (to make yourself taller) and tuck your chin at the same time (creating a double chin). Hold for five seconds and then repeat. Watch a demonstration.
Awareness is key to prevention. By being aware of your posture and proactive in performing these exercises that strengthen the muscles in your back and neck, you can improve your posture and reduce your risk of pain.
If you’re not sure whether or not you have poor posture, there are a few things you can look for:
- Check to see if your shoulders are even.
- Stand up straight and see if your head is level with your shoulders.
- Look at yourself in the mirror and see if your spine is straight.
If not, then you probably have poor posture.
Pinpoint The Source of Your Back and Neck Pain
When your back or neck pain worsens, becomes debilitating, or interferes with daily activities, please contact the office of William Capicotto, MD PC to schedule a consultation at (716) 881-0382.