By Chad Evans, PT

Oh My Posture!!

OMG! Or should I say OMP! For many of us sitting with a good posture has become more difficult over the years. What happened to the days when we could sit up tall and not feel the need to have something to lean back against? Why do our backs start to hurt if we try to sit upright longer than a minute or two? Did we injure something?

Why does my back and neck hurt when I sit?

No, that would be too easy. That would give us an excuse to continue sitting with a rounded, comfortable posture. Chances are that slouched posture has evolved slowly over time. What had once started as a nice erect posture with active use of our core muscles has now become a lazy, slumped posture. Truth be told most of us are guilty of letting the ligaments, tendons and discs that run down the back of our spine hold us upright (somewhat upright). This is what happens when we do not use our posture muscles to hold us upright. It takes a lot less energy for us to slouch.

How do I improve my Posture?

Head Retraction Exercise shown by a JOI PT.

Image of head retraction exercise.

To sit upright we have to activate the muscles that run down the back of our spine as well as the deep stomach muscles. If you hold an upright position long enough, you will notice a dull ache or pain starting to creep into your back.  This would be muscle fatigue. Our back muscles are getting tired because they are too weak and deconditioned to maintain this posture. This is not how it should be.  Our spines are designed to sit upright. We should be able to sit comfortably longer than a minute or two before the muscles get tired and sore. Unfortunately for many, this is difficult and thus results in a slumped posture. Habitually sitting with poor posture ultimately puts a strain on the discs and ligaments in our back. Because of this they get stretched out and weakened, leading to degenerative changes and eventually back pain.

Now is the time to make a change. By making an effort each day to sit a little longer with an upright position, our posture muscles can be re-trained to work again. For your back’s sake, get started today.

JOI Fracture and Injury Care

JOI Physicians are currently offering ASAP fracture and injury care. This is a new option for patients who would like to avoid the emergency room if they have suffered a fracture or soft tissue injury. To learn more about this service, read this article about fracture and injury care. Make an appointment by calling (904)JOI-2000.

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