Is your posture causing your pain?
The 7 deadly postural sins.
Your body is a bony skeleton moved by hundreds of muscles, which are activated by nerves. One of the many causes of pain in the body is called a trigger point, which is a tender point in a muscle belly. Many people feel these in the upper shoulders or traps after a long stressful day sitting at a desk. These trigger points are partially set off by muscle spasms or tension. Now guess what is one of the key things that sets off muscle spasms or tension? Yes, posture. If you have not trained your posture muscles then it will be easier for them to slouch. If one side relaxes too much it overstretches the other side and causes the other side to over-fire. This results in muscle spasms or tension and equals pain.
The muscles directly responsible for holding your body in position are posture muscles. You have to train these muscles or they get out of shape and cause you many problems. Posture muscles have more type 1 fibers and type one fibers tend to hold more muscle spasms than type 2 fibers. (Janda, 1986 and Lewit, 1999) This means you get more back and neck pain when you are not holding the correct posture in your daily life.
To correct this problem you need to learn the correct posture and postural exercises for your body type. This is too much to try and discuss in this article but I will share with you the don’ts.
The most common postural faux pas from the top down:
- Head leaning forward
- This pulls tremendous tension on the muscles of the back of the neck and upper back. This posture can be a leading cause of headaches that originate at the base of the skull
- Head tilted to one side while being on the phone all day
- Shoulder’s rolled forward
- Slouched back while standing or sitting
- Slouched low back while sitting
- Hips leaning forward while standing i.e. hips over your toes
- Sitting Cross-legged
Are you sitting or standing this way right now?
Training or conditioning your postural muscles will help alleviate common muscle pains. For more help with your individual problem areas, book your postural assessment with Dr. John.