Does Bad Posture Cause Lower Back Pain?

By: Dr. Marc Robinson, PT, DPT, Cert. MD

Do you feel like you have bad posture?

Do you feel imbalanced and notice that one hip sits higher than the other?

It’s normal for us to feel “off” and “out of place” sometimes. But does poor posture cause pain?

The research does not show a strong correlation between posture and pain. So, does that mean posture doesn’t matter?!

Before we continue, let’s define what posture is because posture has different meanings.

Merriam-Webster defines posture in simple terms as, “the position of the body.”2

Another definition of posture defines it as “a manner assumed by the body when the body is stationary or when it is moving.”3

To summarize, posture is the position of your body when you are stationary or moving. An example of a stationary posture is the position of your spine while sitting in a chair.

An example of posture while moving is the position of your spine while walking.

Let’s take a closer look at stationary posture.

If someone was sitting slouched, would you consider that “bad” posture?

Posture isn’t black and white like this graphic. If the person sitting on the left was slouched for 3 minutes, slouching would have minimal negative effects on the body. His posture would not be considered “bad.”

However, if the person on the left slouched for 20 minutes, he could develop strain or pain in his back or neck. Slouching for extended periods of time will place more strain on structures in the spine.

From the example above, you can see that posture DOES matter, but it depends on the context of the activity and the individual.

If someone works as a cashier at a retail store, they are used to standing all day for work. They would likely have a more challenging time sitting for long periods of time because their body has not adapted to prolonged sitting.

If someone works in a cubicle, they are used to sitting all day for work. They would be more likely to sit for longer periods of time because their body has adapted to prolonged sitting.

However, we have to consider that pain can occur when the activity demands exceed the ability of the body to tolerate those demands. The person who works in a cubicle can still develop pain because they may exceed their tolerance to prolonged sitting.

Hopefully, everything makes sense up to this point. Understanding the relationship between posture and pain is not a simple concept to grasp.

Let’s take a closer look at posture while moving.

It is important to control the position of the body while moving too. Poor control of body movements can place more demands on the body which can lead to pain if those demands exceed the threshold of what the body can handle.

For example, if someone works as a construction worker, they need to control their body movements because they are moving around a lot. Poor awareness of their body movements will lead to excessive strain on the body and many construction workers get injuries due to the tough physical demands of their job.

Even if you are not a construction worker, you should learn how to control the movements of your body to avoid placing excessive strain on the body.

Understanding how to control your body positions will have more relevance to your pain than one hip being higher than the other. The alignment of your body is poorly linked to pain.

How Can I Improve My Posture and Reduce Pain?

If you struggle with lower back pain, try not to worry too much about one hip feeling higher than the other or feeling “out of alignment.”

I’ll share a quick story of one of my clients:

When this client came to see me, his right hip felt “out of alignment.” He told me that his Chiropractor mentioned his right hip was higher than the left hip.

He was worried because he experienced a new pain in his right hip and he wasn’t able to go to the gym because he feared to make his pain worse. I gave him a couple of exercises to perform at home. He completed these exercises every day and he expressed to me that his right hip felt like it was “back in place” and his pain was gone. Many of my clients reduce their pain within 2-weeks by focusing on 1-2 key exercises.

If your hips feel out of alignment or you experience lower back pain, then you should take our low back pain 2-week program. You will learn simple and effective exercises to improve your posture and reduce lower back pain.

These exercises can be performed every day for 2-weeks. By the end of the two weeks, your spine and body should be moving better. The information in this course would take you 4-5 visits with a physical therapist.

Instead of waiting for appointments and driving to a clinic, you can buy this course for a low cost. You will get lifetime access to the course on your smartphone, tablet or computer which allows you to perform the exercises anytime, anywhere.

The course recently launched and we are offering the course at a low introductory price. Buy the course now because the price will be going up soon.

I guarantee you that you will not regret taking the course. The information in this program is based on exercises that have helped real clients with real pain. If you are unhappy for any reason, I will refund the cost of the course.

I want this to be a no-brainer decision for you because I don’t want you to continue wondering what you should be doing.  Empower yourself with the right knowledge and mindset. Click here to learn more about the course.

References
1. Christensen, et al. (2008) Spinal curves and health: a systematic critical review of the epidemiological literature dealing with associations between sagittal spinal curves and health. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2008 Nov-Dec;31(9):690-714. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19028253
2. Posture. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posture
3. Gardiner MD. The principles of exercise therapy. Bell; 1957.