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Is Your Back Pain a Result of Your Posture?

03 January 2024

There could be plenty of reasons for back pain, and there's no shortage of people who suffer from back pain. In fact, one of the most common problems for people nowadays is back pain - from seniors to young adults and everyone in between.

But what causes such a huge problem across such a wide age range? The most reasonable and likely answer would be posture. As computers become more and more common in daily use and jobs start driving people to their desks with their computers, it's no surprise that postural problems become a bigger concern.

But is your back pain a result of your posture? Or is it something else? Let's look at what causes back pain, how posture can affect back pain, and how to fix it.

Causes of Back Pain

Strain

Very commonly, back pain could be a result of strain and injury. This is likely to happen when lifting something too heavy in the wrong way, or if you make very sudden and awkward movements that put your spine in a strange position. This could cause your muscles or disks in your spine to get damaged, and cause pain.

Structural Problems

Problems with spinal structure can also cause back pain. For example, ruptured, herniated or bulging disks in the spine can cause pain due to the pressure they end up putting on your nerves. In cases of a patient suffering from osteoporosis, the bones are already brittle, which can cause fractures a lot easier.

Sometimes, even problems with the kidneys can cause pain.

Posture

Posture is a major contributor to problems with back pain. When using your computer while hunched over, you can put the muscles in your neck, back and shoulder in a very awkward and strained position, which can put pressure on them. In the long-term, this develops into chronic pain.

Hunching over your computer for long stretches also means that your core, back and abdominal muscles start to get strained and weak. This means that your lower back becomes unable to maintain good posture later on, which only serves to aggravate the problem.

Unsupported sitting positions can also cause your spine to bend forward just a little bit. This may not even be noticeable at first, but over time this can start to put an extra load on the disks in the lower part of your spine, which can even cause the disk to herniate.

It's also possible to do the opposite of hunching - for example, reading on your belly can end up causing your lower back to bend backwards too much, which can also mess with the lower spinal curve and change its natural state.

Back pain can also be a result of long driving sessions, even if you're not hunched over while you do it, or by standing or sitting for a very long period of time.

Other Causes

Sometimes, tumors or infections can also cause back pain. Sleep disorders are also a major contributor, with people who suffer from sleep disorders being at a greater risk of back pain in comparison to those who get a healthy amount of sleep. Sometimes, nerve infections can also result in back pain, but this depends on which nerves have been affected by the problem.

Who is At Risk of Back Pain?

Back pain is a very common ailment, with a very large majority of people suffering from it. But some folks are at a greater risk of it than others.

For example, while age is not necessarily a cause, it is true that seniors are more likely to experience back pain - likely because of all the other health complications they may be facing.

People who live a sedentary lifestyle and have poor fitness, obesity or such problems may also face back pain. On the flip side, if someone works out the wrong way, they may also suffer back pain.

Women are also at a greater risk than men, possibly because of the differences in hormones. Mental health problems are also linked to the problem of back pain.

How to Prevent Back Pain Caused By Bad Posture

To protect yourself from back pain caused by bad posture, the most logical thing to do would be to simply correct your posture. But there are some other ways to address the issue on top of the posture problem as well.

Exercise

Regular exercise is very important for making sure your body weight and strength is controlled. You should make sure to do core-strengthening exercises so that your abdominal, back and core muscles stay strong, so that they can protect your back.

You should also try to incorporate some cardio exercises into your routine, but if you are already suffering from back pain, be a bit gentle with your body.

Diet

Diet is also important. Good bone health needs a lot of calcium and Vitamin D, so make sure that you are taking in enough of these nutrients. You should also eat a balanced diet to avoid unnecessary weight gain, because when weight builds up in the abdominal area, this puts you at a greater chance of developing back pain.

Standing Posture

Your sitting posture and standing posture should be different. When standing, your pelvic position should be neutral. Stand completely straight, and make sure your head is facing forward.

As tempting as it can be to stand with all your weight on one foot - in fact, some of us don't even notice that we do it - make sure to balance your weight evenly between your feet, so that your spine doesn't end up curving as a result. Your legs should be straight, and your head should be in-line with the rest of your body.

Sitting Posture

On the other hand, your posture when sitting would be different. When sitting, you should be very careful that your body is supported all over. This means that the chair you sit in should have good back support that can protect your spine, and you should sit with your back straight against the chair. It's also helpful to have a headrest to support your head and neck while you work.

Your feet should be flat on the floor - or on a footstool if they don't reach the floor. If your feet are dangling, the muscles in your thighs get tense, which pull on your back muscles and cause pain. This is also why you should try to stand as much as possible, because sitting for long stretches can have the same effect.

Your knees should also be slightly below or in-line with your hips, to avoid additional problems.

If you are using a keyboard, make sure that your arms are by your sides, and that your elbows are bent at a 90 degree angle. Your wrists should also be in a neutral position.

Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair (C5)

If you're looking for an ergonomic chair to combat the problem of back pain, FlexiSpot's Soutien Ergonomic Office Chair (C5) is your best option.

It comes with 3D lumbar support to keep your back protected from aches and pains, particularly since back pain is long-lasting and can be very interfering when it comes to your daily life. It has three adjustment levels for height and a rebound system that is gentle.

The backrest is curved so it conforms with the neck and spine to provide support not just to the lumbar region, but also your neck and head. The backrest also tilts back about 45 degrees so you can recline in comfort, whether you're taking a short break between tasks, or a nap during your lunch hour.

It has armrests that are adjustable in 4 dimensions, and are cushioned so you can rest your arms for longer stretches of time. They contour effortlessly to your arms and determine maximum comfort.

The chair is made from fleece mesh that is temperature-sensitive and offers ventilation. This allows you to sit in the chair even on hot days without your back getting all sweaty. Most importantly, the ventilation allows you to stay fresh and relaxed the whole day.

It also has the necessary height adjustment feature that every office chair needs. The chair has a height range of 18.5 to 22 inches, and the back of the chair is about 22 inches in height.

Finding the right chair to avoid back pain problems can be difficult because of how many options there are and how many things you have to consider when making the decision. FlexiSpot's products are designed with comfort and your wellbeing in mind, which makes the Soutien chair a great investment.

Take Breaks

Always make sure to take breaks. Sometimes we get caught up in our work and don't realize that we're hunching over, but taking a break won't just remind us that we have to sit properly, but breaks are also important to help rejuvenate our bodies. Take breaks every now and then to stretch your muscles a bit so that any pain that is just about to start can be prevented.