Feeling under pressure? It’s nothing compared to how your spine may be feeling if you don’t maintain good posture! According to our Fareham chiropractor, the amount of pressure on your spine significantly increases as you move away from a neutral position. To put you in the picture; a forward bend while rounding your back doubles the load on your spine!
Your mother was certainly right when she told you to sit up straight!
Will poor posture affect the long-term health of your back?
Almost certainly! Over time, poor posture causes the discs between the vertebrae to wear down and lose their ability to act as shock absorbers. Bad posture also pushes the discs out towards the back from their normal position, which causes them to bulge. These worn out discs are then at risk of causing a more serious problem by increasing the pressure on the spinal nerves and the spinal cord itself. The result can be pain in the legs, arms, shoulders and neck. There is also a very real risk of developing problems with muscle innervations, movement patterns and the sensation of temperature, pressure and pain.
But did you know that these problems can actually be worsened by sitting (which, of course, is what many people are tempted to do when suffering from back pain!)?
The spine takes about 140mm of pressure when you sit. When you slouch, that load is increased to about 190mm. Add a bit of weight and you’re putting hundreds of pounds worth of strain on your spine.
You wouldn’t attempt to carry a 200lb person on your back would you? Of course not! But you may as well do if you regularly slouch or hunch when you sit!
Sitting for long periods of time can also cause back pain or worsen an existing back problem. Sitting is a static posture that increases the load on the entire back, shoulders, arms, legs and the muscles of the spine. Slouching overstretches spinal ligaments and surrounding structures of the spine and nerves. When this happens, blood supply is interrupted and the back muscles become overstretched.
Your spine is an incredible thing, but there is only so much it can take before it starts to let you know it’s in trouble.