You may have seen this blog post from a few days ago but I wanted to elaborate a little further following our interview on Radio Oxford this morning.
* There is NO BAD POSTURE
– A posture only becomes a problem if it’s the only one you have/the only one you use.
– We should be able to move into a position (or “bad posture”) without pain
– So posture isn’t what causes your pain
* Duration spent in any one position can lead to discomfort, not because of the position but due to the lack of movement
* Sustaining any position for sustained duration can lead to stiffness
– Tissues will be lengthened and our body will sense this stretching, pain is then your signal to MOVE!!
– Lack of movement decreases blood supply to tissues and increases acidity in these tissues, this can be translated to a sensation of pain
* YES! You may find particular positions aggravate your symptoms by increasing load on some tissues but this isn’t due to the posture but the lack of your resilience to that position – BECOME STRONGER – BECOME MORE RESILIENT
* Humans adapt to stress (/load of particular postures) over time. With continued exposure we become stronger and therefore have a greater capacity to tolerate load.
– Imagine going from being a non-runner to running a marathon the next day – Don’t know about you but I’d expect it to hurt!
* Many people have recently changed their current work positions and are not yet accustomed to the new position. You therefore experience discomfort because you aren’t able to sustain it yet! What can you do?
– Improve strength to support you in that positon
– Change your position regularly
– As closely as possible, match your new work position to the former position you had at work
* What can we do??
Remember, posture variability is most important. It can reduce discomfort at the end of the day and improve your productivity because you are staying more active.
– Set movement reminders
– Enforce a standing meeting/phone call policy
– Office workouts – Mini movement breaks
– Change your working position and location as often as possible
PAIN IS NOT A SIGN OF DAMAGE!!
– MRI scans showing disc damage have been present in people with NO PAIN!!
– In those with pain, the area of damage is often not where you are experiencing pain anyway
– PAIN DOES NOT EQUAL PATHOLOGY! You’re not as broken as you think!
*Some other facts for you
– There was no difference in posture in people with no/mild/severe low back pain
– No association between curvature in the neck and neck pain
– No association between leg length and back pain
– No difference in postural measurements in 600 people with and without low back pain
SO WE CAN’T ASSOCIATE PARTICULAR POSTURES TO PAIN
* What posture are you measuring?
– Is it a sitting, standing, walking posture that relates to your pain?
– In each case it’s the tolerance to the activity for a particular duration!
*It’s not a posture problem, it’s a MOVEMENT PROBLEM (or lack of it)
– People with low back pain all have decreased movement in the lower back
– People WITHOUT lower back pain rarely had what was deemed to be “correct” sitting posture
OTHER THINGS TO BE AWARE OF
It has been shown that sitting slouched IMPROVED HYDRATION OF INTERVERTEBRAL DISCS in the lower back. Point for slouching!
Leaning back at an angle of 15 degrees (not your perfect upright posture) places less load on the spine!
Key points to take away…. MOVE!!Return to blog