Is My Posture Causing My Chronic Back Pain?
In a short word… yes! When our alignment is stacked appropriately, then we will find our core engagement happens automatically. However, many people are stuck in gripping patterns that can actually be making us weaker. Yes, that’s right! That military posture your parent’s always taught you was good posture is actually giving you pain.
You may say that makes no sense, but here is why. I want you to stand up in that military posture and tell me where do you feel tightness in your body. Is it your abdominals, back, glutes or neck? If we are in good alignment and our core muscles are working appropriately, we shouldn’t have pain in these places. This tightening is due to our superficial, global muscles holding, not our deep core.
So go ahead and try this:
Shift your body weight to the mid-foot.
Most of you will find your weight rests in your heels.
Slightly unlock those knees!
Only a little, but it will feel like a lot.
Place your rib cage directly over your pelvis
Many of us stand with rib cage open and pelvis forward. Does this picture look like you?
Compare your before and after
I know, you’re thinking this can’t be good posture, I feel like I am falling forward. This is only temporary, as your body practices this new posture day in and day out it will feel less and less weird. Why, you ask, this is because of our physical therapy principle of neuromuscular re-education. In other words, with repetition you are training your body AND BRAIN to recognize this new, more efficient posture.
I’m not saying that it will be easy, You may even need some functional manual therapy and Pilates-based rehab to get there due to your global muscles being so restricted, but you can be on your way.
“You cannot heal a lifetime of pain overnight, be patient with yourself, it takes as long as it takes to rebuild yourself.” ~UNKNOWN