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Does Bad Posture Cause Back Pain?

It’s estimated that 4 million Australians or 16% of the population have back problems (source: Australian Bureau of Statistics National Health Survey). More and more younger and middle-aged adults experience the back pain which can be constant and persistent. Some common causes of these back problems are age, spine degeneration due to wear and tear, physical fitness, being overweight and the type of work a person does (e.g. heavy manual work, prolonged sitting, suboptimal workplace ergonomics).

Does bad posture cause back pain?

What about posture? Does it make back pain worse or can a bad posture through the years cause back problems?

The short answer is yes. For example, one common cause of lower back pain is poor sitting posture (e.g. slouching which puts excessive strain on the joints, discs and muscles). We often underestimate the effect but if we add up the hours (where we could be in a slouching position for several hours each day), it can really put a burden on our lower back. It’s a similar case with the middle back because ligaments and muscles overwork and try to compensate for poor posture.

It’s gradual and insidious and many times the pain will go away. But as we age and with that repetitive strain and overwork, the muscles and bones in our backs will get hurt and damaged. The pain then becomes constant and persistent and pain relievers won’t do the trick anymore. It can also get worse because we’re spending more and more time in a sitting position (including driving, watching TV).

What to do

To get rid of the pain (and prevent or minimise its recurrence), it’s important to figure out the root cause and seek professional advice. Poor posture might just be one cause because physiotherapists might also detect injury to a spinal facet joint, irritation of the spinal nerves or injury to intervertebral discs.

It starts with a thorough and scientific assessment which then results in a tailored treatment according to your specific condition and requirements. An individualised exercise program will be prepared and your everyday activity and workplace ergonomics will also be looked at. The goal is to get rid of the pain as soon as possible while thinking of the long-term (preventing or minimising recurrence).

Here at Wellers Hill Physiotherapy (we also have a practice in Woolloongabba) our qualified physiotherapists will perform a rigorous assessment to exactly what’s causing your back pain. Doctors recommend their patients to us because of our scientific expertise and our long-standing reputation. Contact us today and let us help in stopping the back problem from interfering with your life, work and fitness (Wellers Hill: 07 3892 7501; Woolloongabba: 07 3391 3331)