Posture problems play a large part in the development of much back and neck pain. Most people have symmetrical or abnormal curves in the spine which is ok, but when structures in the spine are more strained than others and causing pain, then it is not coping with your posture too well.
Posture problem can involve tight muscles in the lower back and neck as well as weak abdominal muscles. This causes the pelvis to tilt forwards, the abdomen to stick out, shoulders appeared rounded, the thoracic area looks stooped and the chin projects forwards. This can lead to the development of back problems.
Look at yourself from the side in a full-length mirror. The following diagram illustrates correct and poor posture and how to do a pelvic tilt to promote a reduction of the space between the lower back and wall.
There may also be other contributing factors leading to a posture problem. These may include a higher shoulder on one side, a higher pelvis on one side, a leg length difference or a scoliosis. Structural factors such as these cannot be changed but would be considered in your treatment plan.
The lower back should be upright or maintained in a slight backwards curve. This can be helped by sitting upright, tilting the pelvis, adjusting the angle of the seat of the chair and having a chair with a good lumbar support. The diagram below illustrates correct sitting and working posture. Your workstation may need adjusting to achieve correct posture.
A posture problem could be contributing to your pain therefore your posture is always assessed in your initial consultation. It provides me with much information regarding the way you stand, how you hold yourself, areas of muscle tension, areas of excessive weight bearing and any abnormal curvature in your spine. Osteopathic treatment may include manipulations, stretching, soft tissue massage and identifying ways that you can help improve your posture in the home and work setting. Lifestyle changes may be advised for example reducing your weight or taking up exercise. The important thing to remember is that you have the ability to correct your posture problem.