Dr. Masters's Blog



Overlooking the Common Problems of Bad Posture

A common cause of back and neck pain across the modern world of office jobs is often something as simple as poor posture.

Posture is defined by how one’s body is sitting or standing throughout any period of time.

Because of the way the human spine is made up, good posture is important. The spine has weight-bearing parts in the front and moveable joints in the back. And chiropractors, like the ones at Arkansas Physical Health and Rehab, focus on joints that don’t move too well.

Bad posture increases pressure on the joints that are supposed to be moving instead of the parts that are designed for holding weight. If someone has bad posture, they’re increasing that pressure on what’s supposed to be freely movable.

Growing increasingly common, poor neck posture comes with a unique set of consequences on its own. It’s creating anterior head carriage (or forward head posture) because of the desk job. This leaves people suffering from a stiff neck, putting extra weight on the joints that are supposed to be movable.

With a prolonged position, muscles normally in perfect balance become tight. The result? Headaches and neck pain, on one side or both. It all comes from being in this repeated position. The muscles become tight over time.

And the same thing goes with the low back. It’s called lower cross syndrome. If someone stands up after sitting for an extended period of time, hip flexors become painful.

The good news is bad posture can be corrected. It just takes time. No one goes to the gym once and is automatically a bodybuilder.

Damage caused by anterior head carriage can be reduced by doing chin translations. Arkansas Physical Health and Rehab offers that to patients regularly. But on their own, someone driving home from work might hit a stoplight. There, they can do 10-15 chin retractions. It works.

This exercise is lengthening those muscles that are tight in the back. It’s strengthening the weak neck flexors in the front.

At work, there’s a useful exercise called the clock stretch. Get up, go to a door frame, place your arm against it, and stretch the muscles that are in front.

For lower back pain, pelvic tilts are often something done often in the clinic.

The best solution is just to have some kind of lumbar support while sitting at work.

If someone catches themselves slouching, they can roll up a towel and stick it against their lower back and the chair. This keeps lower back curvature to maintain the proper weight bearing that should be going on.

Back to the head, a common problem today is called tech neck. It’s been growing more frequent over the years thanks to cell phones and iPads. People used to do it with newspapers.

It’s prolonged looking down, whether reading the newspaper or a phone. The skull becomes a bowling ball on a little spine point. People are constantly adding force to the neck, moving forward without knowing it. They’re lengthening these muscles more and more with the added motion of leaning forward.

A surprising effect of poor posture not being corrected is digestive problems.

Most don’t realize it, but if they’re sitting, hunched over with bad posture, the gut and stomach don’t move as often. And these areas are designed for more movement. It helps with digestion.

Less movement means less digestion. And that means leaving more toxins in the gut for the body to reabsorb.

If neck and back pain are an ongoing problem, Arkansas Physical Health and Rehab can help. To make an appointment, call 479-443-0800 or click here.