Does posture REALLY cause lower back pain? An Elwood physio explains

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Does posture REALLY cause lower back pain? An Elwood physio explains

Despite common belief, there is no such thing as correct posture – in fact, it varies (quite literally!)

If you ask our Elwood physios, correcting posture is somewhat overrated when it comes to muscular aches and pains. What we aim to do at Physio AUS is to educate you and encourage more frequent movement.

So, what is good posture?

Your next posture is your best posture, SIMPLE.

Well not quite! Today, we’ll be breaking down posture and look at it in depth.

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Posture – how important is it really?

What people generally base their postural “goals” on is actually flawed – it’s possible to have good posture and still have to contend with back pain!

There are people out there with “perfect posture” who still have pain, just as there are people with “poor” posture who don’t have pain.

But just because good posture isn’t a cure-all for lower back pain doesn’t mean we can work to change our postural habits

So what are the biggest problems when it comes to posture?

Prolonged sitting

More often than not we are hearing that sitting is the new smoking. Guess what? It’s true!

But it’s more than just our health that is taking a hit – our quality of life is also affected thanks to poor muscle condition & blood flow.

Extended standing

Sitting bad. Okay, that tracks, and it’s easy to wrap your head around.

Logically, standing should be good for you, right?

Studies have shown that prolonged standing can negatively impact your musculoskeletal system – something our Elwood physios want to work towards avoiding

So, what’s the deal?

The good news is that your body is incredibly resilient. It has great capacity to regulate and correct any postural damage you may have caused through bad habits and modern lifestyle.

The pain you may be feeling or attributing to “bad” posture is complex, and likely does not come from a simple, single biomechanical cause like poor posture. 

Often it’s the other way around – we adapt a bad posture due to pain!

At Physio AUS, our Elwood physios can assess your posture and identify muscle aches as well as other musculoskeletal issues. We will inform you on how to take an active role in improving your posture and pain.

Eventually, we will work towards a point where it will only take a few minutes a day to stretch, strengthen, stabilise and improve your productivity at work and at home.

Simple hacks to improve your posture in the meantime

Spend a lot of time on your feet?

If so, our Elwood physios recommend:

  • Distributing your weight more evenly
  • Wearing proper footwear with adequate support
  • Invest in an ‘anti-fatigue mat’ if you are on a hard surface in the one spot all day
  • Strengthen your core, stabilising and postural muscles
  • Shift your position regularly to take pressure off your stiff muscles and lower back

In addition to reducing the strain on your feet and legs and helping optimise your posture, they also come with a range of other health benefits too – a win-win in our book!

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Work a desk job?

In that case, you’ll want to optimise your desk or work area by:

  • Adapting your sitting style
  • Choosing an ergonomic chair you can adjust to fit to your needs
  • Using a rolled up towel to provide support for your lower back
  • Keeping your legs resting on the floor, with the screen just below eye level and forearms supported by the desk
  • Work some of these physiotherapy exercises into your daily routine
  • Use a relaxed grip and shoulder posture while driving, with the seated tilted to horizontal and the seat reclined at 10-15 degrees

And finally, see if you can’t talk your boss into fitting your workplace out with standing desks, and alternating between sitting and standing every 30 minutes or so.

If you need, feel free to set a timer/alarm on your phone or put a sticky note on your PC/laptop to remind yourself.

You can even swap out your water bottle for a smaller one so you’re forced to get up more often to fill it.

Basically, if you work a desk job, focus on moving more throughout the day rather than sustaining any one position

Lower back pain? Our Elwood physio team can help!

The research around posture and anatomical variation, complexity of pain and injury influences the treatments we choose as physiotherapists. With that in mind, posture is not always the enemy!

Posture correctors or braces counter our position or tendencies to round our shoulder and slouch. While they help, at best these are temporary fixes and encourage us to not be active in our rehab.

When you don’t wear the brace or device it leads you to fall back in that same posture as it is not training your muscles or your brain. 

For lasting results and freedom from lower back pain, you need to see a physiotherapist.

Our arsenal of tools, postural aids and treatments allow us to directly target the root cause of your lower back pain, whatever that may be.

Part of our AUS system involves providing unique solutions that go beyond just strength building exercises and routines.

At Physio AUS we use taping methods and other cues to encourage endurance through our postural muscles. This leads to longer sustained results from injury or pain that may have once attributed to adapting poor posture.

The research around posture and anatomical variation, complexity of pain and injury influence a number of treatments we choose as physiotherapists. Keeping in mind, posture is not the enemy!

Make pain-free your default setting again – call our Elwood physios on (03) 9525 6077, or click here to book your initial session!

By |2020-02-12T05:43:05+00:00February 5th, 2020|Back, Physio|0 Comments

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