Posture and Back Pain
What is the role between posture and back pain ?
We have devoted a special section to posture. If certain postures aggravate your pain and are on your avoidance list then this is a section you must read.
Posture is a hot topic in the rehabilitation world when discussing back pain. It has long been thought that there is a direct relationship between the two. Recently, research has implied that posture and positioning have no relationship to the initial incident of low back pain. This is referred to as causation or the cause of the problem. The findings have some medical professionals scratching their heads and arguing against the results based upon their personal experience with patient care. Does that mean there is no relationship at all?
First, lets be clear, research has yet to determine a link between posture causing low back. This does not indicate their is not a relationship between the two. All it indicates is, the current research has not YET determined a direct relationship to posture causing back pain. There are many that believe there is a relationship, researchers have not yet found that relationship.
With that being said, lets assume that poor posture doesn’t cause low back pain. Does this mean we don’t have to worry about posture if we are experiencing pain? Absolutely not! As stated above- posture has not been found to cause low back pain in research. Posture has, however, been directly correlated to pain experiences/intensities/duration/frequency DURING an episode of low back pain. What does this all mean? Posture and positioning have a large impact when pain is already present, and therefor must be accounted for, assessed appropriately, or monitored.
Let’s look at how this effects our body. Many of us have poor postural habits. These habits will create a low level of strain into our tissues. Over time we have built up resilience to these stressors and for the most part they do not cause in problems as they do not create enough strain on the tissue to cross over the pain threshold.
Now let’s imagine if have a specific injury to the low back that automatically increases our stress and strain on our tissue. We can see in the graph below that our resting strain levels start much higher, this causes our tolerance level to pain to shrink or lesson. No poor postural habits that once did not affect our pain are constantly crossing through the pain threshold not allowing the tissue to calm down.
If you have identified a specific posture that elevates or aggravates your pain, then research tells us that repeating or maintaining that posture will worsen the symptoms. Likewise, avoidance or modification of the aggravating posture will help to lessen the symptoms.
The McKenzie Lumbar Roll is an excellent tool to help monitor posture. By placing the roll into the lumbar spine, it maintains its natural curvature which reduces the micro traumas the spine is exposed to. You can also try the invertabelt, our patented product that helps control posture. Either option is great!. Below is the link to the McKenzie Roll.
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***Affiliate Disclosure: does make a small commission on some of the products and services that we use and recommend through affiliate relationships with those merchants. Also, before making any purchase you should always rely on your own judgement and do your own due diligence. The results you get will be entirely based on your own experience and skill set. Prior to any self-treatment program you are to always consult the your medical professional.