Too often we hear patients say, “my posture is bad”, “I have really poor posture”, or “I know my posture is causing my pain”. But what exactly is poor posture?
Bad or poor posture is one that results from relying on certain muscles, ligaments, or bones which lead to other areas becoming unused. This can lead to imbalances or weaknesses in the body and there are many risk factors which lead to this. Common risk factors include repetitive movements like one sided sports, slumping on a chair for too long, or even psychosocial factors like high job stress and anxiety.
However, the most important risk factor to developing pain from bad posture is actually how long you stay in these postures or keep doing the repetitive movements. For example, everyone will eventually begin to slump on a chair, which would be considered “bad posture”. But it is the length of time you stay in this slumped position that will predispose you to having symptoms! It is not the position itself. As we say to all patients, “motion is lotion” and “stillness is illness”. If you do find yourself slumping on your chair too long or your head is looking down too much at your phone, keep moving!