Back pain has unfortunately become an extremely common problem among so many Americans these days. With so many us working at busy, corporate desk jobs, we have found it incredibly easy for our days to fly by without having moved much during a typical 9-5 workday.
The direct cause of back pain is not always just this lack of movement, however. The cause, more likely, may sometimes stem from poor posture. Posture is interesting because after a few hours of sitting or going about your day with poor posture, most people won’t even feel the ill-effects. Over time, however, the stress and injury that these poor habits may put on your neck and back may be seen in the form of chronic back pain.
In fact, there are actually changes in the anatomical makeup of your spine that can occur with time, and the constriction of nerves and blood vessels plus further muscle, joint, and disc damage can also cause harm.
Is Poor Posture What’s Causing Your Back Pain?
It can be difficult to tell whether or not poor posture is the culprit when it comes to your back pain, but he following characteristics are typical of back pain that has been caused by consistent poor posture and may be able to help you identify your own:
- Pain that will go away after you change your sitting or standing position
- Pain that tends to be the worst at specific times of the day, such as in the evening after you get home from work or after relaxing on the couch for a few hours
- Pain that tends to begin in the neck area and move down into the upper and lower back
- Sudden twinges of back pain that may occur after adopting a new job, new car, new couch, or a new office chair
If any of the symptoms listed above have affected you, the back pain Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne residents experience may come from poor posture. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your posture. In turn, these improvements may be able to aid your overall comfort levels and reduce your back pain.
Steps to Improving Your Posture
Improving your posture really isn’t difficult. The trick is to implement new habits on a regular basis. There’s no one-time, instant fix for poor posture, so integrating new habits is really where the importance lies. Use the following steps to start applying new, good-posture-promoting habits to your lifestyle.
- Start with your walk.
The way you walk and stand is exceedingly important. You should try to “walk tall.” This means avoiding dropping your shoulders, keeping your back straight, and keeping your head up. In fact, you should aim to keep your head balanced directly above your spine and neck.
As you walk, look straight forward. In other words, turn your body to look from side-to-side instead of just turning your neck.
- Sit correctly.
Numerous jobs require you to stay seated throughout the majority of your day. If you are sitting at least 16 hours every day, it’s essential that long-term ramifications do not exacerbate your back pain.
Start by ensuring that you have a supportive chair. Your feet should be able to be flat on the floor. If this is not initially possible, use a foot-rest.
Your knees should be at the same level as your head, and you should keep your arms flexed at a 75° to 90° angle at the elbows. You shouldn’t have to lift your shoulders to reach the keyboard or write on your work surface.
And of course, make sure that your back is flush against the back of your chair, and keep your computer screen directly at eye level so that you do not need to tilt your head unnecessarily.
- Notice how you lift and carry.
Don’t forget that how you lift and carry objects is important as well. You need to lift objects carefully — especially heavy ones — so that you do not cause injury to the joints, muscles, and discs in your back.
As a rule, lead with your hips. This means that you shouldn’t twist your spine to change directions. You should also lift with your knees. In other words, don’t bend at the waist to pick up a heavy box or object. This puts all the stress on your spine and arms.
Lastly, don’t forget to keep your chest forward and as straight as possible. The weight of the object you’re carrying should be held close to your body.
Professional Help for Persistent Back Pain
If you are still experiencing back pain in Bayonne, Hoboken, or Jersey City, despite following the posture tips listed above, it may be time to seek professional help. Whether your back pain is stemming from poor posture or not, The Spine & Sports Health Center may be able to help locate the source of the issue and improve your back pain.
At our locations, we treat back pain and other joint and spine pain issues with a variety of care methods, including chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy and rehab, pain management, and sports medicine. All of the treatment plans that our staff employs are created by board-certified physicians who trained at the top institutions. Each plan is personally designed to meet the needs of the individual patient.
For more information on back pain or any other spine or joint issues you are experiencing, please feel free to visit any of our Hudson County, New Jersey locations. We have offices in Hoboken, Jersey City, and Bayonne. You can also contact us by phone at (201) 535-2474 or fill out our simple contact form to get your back pain under control.