Back Pain due to Poor Posture
As a follow up on the last blog I posted on ‘back pain, posture and muscle imbalance‘, I wanted to talk about what can we do about our posture to prevent back and neck pain.
4 Steps to Prevent Back and Neck Pain
1. Core Strength exercises & strengthening for those weak muscles
2. Stretching those tight muscles
3. Adjusting your ergonomics at work (please click link)
4. Correcting any biomechanical problems – go see your local podiatrist if you have a leg length discrepancy or flat feet, or if you are currently getting back or neck trouble go see your local osteopath.
How can you prevent Hunch Back and Neck Postural problems?
Stretches for those tight muscles:
Shoulders & Neck
Modification: turn head away from your and draw head forward and across to your armpit, as this stretches more the back of your neck.
Strengthening Those Weak Muscles
Strengthen your shoulder blade (scapula) muscles as this will improve not only your upper back and shoulders, but your neck as well. Theraband is a perfect exercise tool to do for scapula exercises. Try a standing row where you concentrate more on squeezing your shoulder blades closer to your spine more than trying to pull the theraband back with your arms. Do 10 repetitions and 3 sets.
Some simple postural exercises to do at your desk
- Sit comfortably in your chair, with both feet on the ground. Relax your shoulders and look straight ahead. Pull your chin in towards your head and hold for 10 seconds initially, increasing to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
- Again, sitting in your chair, rest your hands on your thighs. Slowly squeeze your shoulder blades together. Hold for 10 seconds, increasing to 30 seconds. Repeat 3 times
How can we prevent sway backs and weak abdominals?
Stretch those tight muscles:
low back muscles
Strengthen your core: You basically cannot get a strong core from sitting at a desk all day, and that is why it is especially important to work on your core outside of work. Since your gluts and your abdominals are weakened as a result of your sitting posture throughout the day it is ideal to be focusing on those muscles to rebuild your core.
Here are a couple of basic back exercises to get you started:
Supine Floor Bridge:
Start: Lie flat on the floor flat on your back. Bring your feet close to your bottom.
Begin the motion: Raise your hips as high as you can. Keep core drawn in as well as your gluts contracted. If you lose either, start and repeat until you can hold for an extended period of time. Make sure you do not arch your back during the any point. You can hold this exercise for 5 secs and do 5 repetitions of this exercise. You can build up on this exercise by increasing the time held and the repetitions, or you can also choose to do just a single repetition but held for longer.
Further Progression/ Modification: You should be able to hold the static position for one minute before progressing.
Hold the bridge position and then lift one of your feet off the floor until your leg it straight. Hold for 5 secs and then alternate legs. While doing this exercise it is important to keep your pelvis still and level horizontally throughout.
Start: Lie flat on your stomach. Place your elbows and forearms on the floor. Your elbows should be aligned right below your shoulders.
Begin the motion: Lift your hips up so your body is parallel with the floor. Your forearms to fists and the balls of your feet should be the only body parts touching the ground.
It is very important to not arch your back ever during the plank. Always make sure you feel the muscles in your abdominal area doing the work.
You should have your core drawn in tight and your gluts tightly contracted. If your form breaks down, stop, rest, and repeat. You might want to start at 10seconds and then doing 5 repetitions, or just one repetition for 30 seconds and then build from there.
Further Progression/ Modificaton: Once you can hold the plank for at least a minute then you can progress if you choose to.
Hold the plank position and lift one leg off the floor. Make sure your foot is not externally rotated and your toe is pointed straight down towards the floor. Make sure your pelvis is still and level horizontally throughout. Hold for 10 seconds and then alternate to the other leg.
There is no need to suffer with back pain, call us at Mosaic Health today!