It’s well understood that having poor Posture can cause or aggravate back pain – upper, mid, and lower. However, we might know something but do we actually put much credence in it? Slouching can’t be that bad! Well, for some people maybe not, though I wouldn’t count on it. But for the majority of people, poor posture is the reason their discomfort never really goes away.
Think about it. If you spend 16 hours awake, up and about, sitting, standing, (even lounging on the couch) and your default posture is poor, that is a very long period of time in which your body is living outside it’s prefer position. Some muscles are stretched further than is ideal. Other muscles shorten and become tight. Overall, your body will adjust, but only so far without protest. Eventually it will start to object by sending pain or tension signals to your brain. Then because life is so busy or what-have-you, those signals get ignored until the muscles are positively shouting. It’s then that you pay attention. Some people take pills, others get massage, still others start stretching. What is often forgotten is all that time spent in a less than ideal position. Sure those things are useful but if you don’t take the time to correct your posture then it could be all for naught. And yes, this includes massage. Massage therapists can only do so much. It’s up to each person to make changes at home and work that will benefit their bodies positions.
There are many things you can do to improve your posture, building self-awareness is part of it. Along with that are a few other things including, stretching and strengthening, Harvard Medical School has some good suggestions. Beyond home activities, if your posture muscles are feeling especially weak, it might be a good time to find a personal trainer who can provide coaching to help your rebuild strength in specific muscles and help to balance everything else out. And if it turns out your pain is severe enough, or you feel like you need help before you can get to a gym find a good physical therapist who can give you exercises that are challenging and beneficial.