If you’re like most people, you have had someone tell you to sit or stand up straight, probably during your teenage years. At the time, this demand was probably annoying and one you did your best to ignore. But it turns out that good posture is important for more than just looking confident and respectable. Sitting and standing with good spinal alignment can help reduce and prevent back pain.
One major focus of physical therapy is to teach patients how to practice good posture. Your physical therapist can help you understand the importance of posture and give you valuable training to help you achieve it.
What good posture does to reduce back pain
Your spine is designed to operate in a certain way. When you move, sit and stand in ways that disrupt the correct operation of your spine, you can create problems over time. Practicing good posture, with the help of a physical therapist, is one option that can significantly reduce back pain.
When you’re in physical therapy, you’ll learn what good posture is. Additionally, you’ll discover several ways in which the healthy movement patterns taught by your physical therapist can decrease your back pain. Some of these include:
- Avoiding undesirable anatomical changes
The ways that you use your spine can actually cause changes in your anatomy. The stress caused by sitting in a hunched position can eventually lead to damage of your spinal discs, muscles, joints, and the nerves and blood vessels traveling through your spine. The result of this stress is typically back pain. But often the damage can be reversed if you engage in targeted physical therapy that helps you learn to sit and stand correctly.
- Promoting better circulation
When you maintain proper spinal alignment, your veins aren’t constricted by the press of your vertebrae. All the numerous components of your spine require good circulation to operate correctly and to regenerate from damage and wear and tear.
Your physical therapist can guide you through different therapeutic exercises that are designed to help improve posture. You can get better at keeping the alignment required for optimal circulation as a result of using such exercises.
- Encouraging strength and flexibility
If it has been a while since you have regularly had good posture, chances are that trying to maintain such posture over a long period will be difficult. It may take some time in physical therapy to gain the strength and flexibility necessary to keep the ideal posture.
Fortunately, the work you do with your physical therapist to achieve your goal can lead to greater overall fitness. The stronger and more flexible you get, the less likely you are to suffer from back pain on a regular basis.
- Improving posture in all activities
Most people think of posture in static positions, like sitting at a desk or standing for a period of time. But good posture is important in everything that we do.
Your physical therapist can instruct you on how to maintain good posture during all your favorite activities. This can include activities like running, playing sports and walking. The improved posture you adopt in each activity can lessen the wear and tear you put on your spine. In turn, reduced spinal wear and tear can minimize the risk of developing back pain from these activities.
- Preventing back pain caused by improper lifting
Good posture is a vital component of lifting objects without injury. When you lift and fail to use good lifting posture, there’s a much greater chance that you’ll wind up hurting your back.
Ask your physical therapist about proper lifting posture. They can show you how to lift correctly and guide you through some exercises to clarify the right posture.
Get more help with your back pain from Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation
Want to find out other ways that physical therapy can help treat your back pain? Our team at Arrow Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation offers the treatment options you need. We offer complimentary screenings intended to pinpoint the root cause of your pain. Our physical therapists also excel at creating personalized therapy plans intended to reduce pain and improve posture, and your plan can include therapy methods like:
- Active Release Techniques®
- Therapeutic exercises
- Manual therapy
- Posture education
- Graston Technique®
- Virtual therapy
- At-home care
Don’t wait to start getting our help with your back pain. Contact our team today for more information about our therapy services or to schedule an initial appointment.