In 90% of cases, back discomfort is not caused by tissue injury but rather by sensitivity in the back structures. Rather, back pain is more likely to persist due to anxiety than bad posture.
The notion that “good” posture avoids back pain is well-known, but a recent review of the research warrants a second look because Australian specialists claim that negative habits and mental states like anxiety are more likely to cause problems than poor posture.
Prof. of musculoskeletal physiotherapy Peter O’Sullivan, prof. of physiotherapy, Leon Straker, and Nic Saraceni from Curtin University discovered that worrying about posture might lead to stress and take attention away from other elements that are known to be crucial for the health of the spine.
“Back pain is more likely to persist if a person becomes overly worried (read below) and fearful about their back pain, or overprotects their back and avoids movement, physical activity, work and social engagement,” the authors said in an article published in The Conversation.
“People’s spines come in all shapes and sizes, so posture is highly individual.”
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“Movement is important for back health, so learning to vary and adopt different postures that are comfortable is likely to be more helpful than rigidly adhering to a specific good posture.”
Clinicians usually characterize “good” posture as sitting “upright,” standing “tall and aligned,” lifting with a squat technique and having a “straight back.”
However, “slump” sitting, “slouch” standing, and lifting with a “round back” are discouraged due to the danger of injuring the spine and causing back pain.
Their review of the studies discovered a startling lack of evidence for a substantial association between excellent posture and back pain, stating that ergonomic treatments for workers, as well as counseling for manual workers on the optimum lifting position, have not decreased work-related back pain.
What can people do instead?
The researchers recommend seeking medical attention for the 10% of individuals whose back pain is brought on by a fracture, cancer, infection, or compression of a nerve.
90 percent of the time, back discomfort is not caused by tissue injury but rather by sensitivity in the back structures. When it comes to this situation, “too much focus on maintaining “good” posture can be a distraction from other factors known to be important for spine health.”
These elements include stretching and relaxing their back, exercising frequently, fostering confidence and staying physically fit for daily chores, preserving sound sleep patterns and a healthy body weight, and taking care of their overall physical and emotional well-being.
The researchers urged people to first minimize stress, be active, and make sure they take care of their mental health because people are more susceptible to back discomfort when their health is damaged.
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