Poor posture is a leading cause of back pain and discomfort, but how can you tell if you’re posture is in desperate need of an overhaul? Our Ealing chiropractor, who has many years experience in treating posture-associated issues, has compiled the following checklist (and despite No: 1, poor posture isn’t always to do with slouching!):
1: Do you slouch when you sit?
You may feel more relaxed and comfortable when you sit in a “slumped” position, but overtime this posture can put strain on your muscles and soft tissues and increase muscle tension. When this happens, pain is usually what follows.
2: Does your bottom stick out?
Forget worrying about your pokey-out behind in the changing room mirror; if your bottom tends to stick out or you have a pronounced curve in your lower back, you may have “hyperlordosis”. A condition that causes an exaggerated inward curve of the lower back, “hyperlordosis” is commonly diagnosed in people who regularly wear high heels or carry excessive weight around the stomach. Pregnancy can also cause this posture.
3: Do you have a flat back?
If your back appears flat instead of naturally curved, it’s likely that your pelvis is tucked in and you unintentionally lean forward when you stand or walk.
Muscle imbalances and spending long periods in a sitting position are often to blame for this posture. A flat back may also cause you to tilt your neck and head forward, which can result in the development of pain in the cervical spine and upper back.
4: Do you lean more on one leg?
If you’ve been standing in the same position for a while, you may find that leaning more on one leg feels easier on your back muscles. But while this position may seem more comfortable in the short-term, it actually puts excessive pressure on one side of your lower back and hip. Frequently standing in this position may put you at risk of developing muscle imbalances around the pelvis area which can cause painful muscular strain in the lower back and buttocks.
Other common culprits of uneven hips include carrying toddlers on one hip and wearing heavy rucksacks on one shoulder.
Sometimes both the cause and the solutions to chronic back pain are found in simple daily habits.