Good Posture to reduce back pain.
Sitting correctly with good posture is about encouraging the body’s into it natural “S’ curve and neutral “balanced” position. The pelvis should sit slightly forwards to facilitate this process which allows the body’s weight to be distributed evenly across the spine’s structures thus creating better balance. In the diagram below you will see an example of this.
Here you can see the eyes are level with the top of the screen keeping the head straight and then allowing the eyes to drop down slightly and relax. The upper back and shoulder blades are supported on the chair with arm supports which helps keep the arms bent to ninety degrees and relaxed.
The lower back should form a slight “S” curve in order to maintain a “neutral” or “balanced” spine allowing the thighs to maintain a horizontal alignment with the knees. Therefore, a ninety degree bend should form in the knees whilst being able to keep the feet fully flat on the floor. Please read below for an insight into what is happening at each part of the body.
At the pelvis you can see it is rotated slightly forward. This allows the lower back to arch (extend) which helps to evenly distribute weight through the lower back to reduce back pain. This called a Lordosis or a Lordotic Posture. The discs there can now tolerate the load more evenly as well as the musculature around them.
Due to the back being slightly arched it naturally allows the chest to open up thus causing a natural curve in the upper back. Opening the chest allows the possibility of deeper breaths by opening up the diaphragm and the upper part of the rib cage which can improve breathing capacity. Simultaneously, the abdomen does not become so compressed and therefore reduces pressure and load on its structures.
In order to maintain this posture the back and abdominal muscles will engage somewhat. This will encourage them to help “switch on” which can help maintain the body’s balance. Furthermore, this posture can help keep the core muscles strong but be warned, as a result it can feel like hard work at first. It is a good idea to practise this for short periods of time initially and slowly build it up to avoid initial back pain. The more you persist the more likely it is that you feel more comfortable over time.
We can briefly talk about what happens when we do not sit correctly. Basically the opposite can occur. The pelvis can be forced to lean back rounding the lower back musculature and placing more load on the intervertebral discs. This causes the lower back go into what is called a kyphotic curve (flat or rounded). Ones shoulders are now more likely to go forwards which can lead to compressing the upper part of the rib cage, thus restricting breathing and potentially increasing back pain.
The muscles can become elongated in the back and slack in the abdomen. This imbalance overtime can cause weakness in the lower back. Although this position may feel more comfortable due to the muscles being more slack it can lead to the body’s soft tissues aching more in the long run. This is usually a result of the muscles weakening and a decrease in their supply of blood and bodily fluids which help keep the body lubricated and healthy optimally.
Please if you have any questions on the above information or need some help with any back pain or difficulty you are feeling please do not hesitate to contact 0203 146 5585 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and to make an appointment go to the booking tab at the top of the page.