Millions of people experience back pain. In fact, back pain is the most commonly reported area of discomfort across the United States. It is estimated that approximately 25 million Americans suffer from chronic pain, many of whom experience that pain in their back. According to one longitudinal study, 3% of all emergency room visits between the years of 2004-2008 were also due to back pain or injury.
As you can tell, back pain is extremely common, and it can also pose several limitations on your daily life. Many people with chronic back pain also have a disability that makes it difficult for them to perform their daily tasks. Fortunately, physical therapy can help correct back pain and get patients back to their normal functioning, pain-free life! To learn more about how our services can help you manage your back pain, contact Optimal Motion PT today.
Where does back pain come from?
Do you hunch your shoulders forward at your desk? Do you slouch to type on your keyboard? Do you lean forward to answer calls or answer emails?
While there are several reasons why back pain may occur, one of the most common reasons is due to poor posture. Even the things we do subconsciously can take a harsh toll on our bodies.
Every way your body moves is affected by your posture, whether you’re sitting, standing, walking, running, jumping, or performing any other physical task. It is also possible to have different postures for different physical acts.
For example, you may be thinking, “my posture at my desk is perfect – there’s no way that could be causing my back pain.” While that may be true, maybe your posture while standing, running, or even laying down isn’t perfect. When your body slouches or folds in ways that it is not supposed to, pain can develop – no matter what it is you’re doing.
How does poor posture develop?
If your back pain is caused by poor posture, there is no reason to be embarrassed. In fact, there are very few (if any) people who actually practice perfect posture in everything they do. Most people partake in bad posture habits in one way or another. We become so wrapped up in whatever tasks we are doing that we forget to think about the way our bodies are positioned.
Just think about it – you’re on the final task of your to-do list for work, it’s the last hour of the day, and you’re tired. Chances are, your posture went out the window long ago. You’re probably slouched sideways in your desk chair with one eye on the monitor and the other on the clock. We all do this – we get tired from holding ourselves up all day long and we begin to compensate. However, this kind of positioning isn’t normal for your body, and it can lead to pain or even functional issues with time.
Poor posture isn’t due to laziness or apathy; rather, it generally has something to do with a physical weakness within our bodies. When we are lacking in the posture department, it is generally because our bodies literally get tired of holding us up.
Even if you exercise regularly, it is possible that there are still a few weak muscles contributing to your posture that you may not even realize. The muscles in your shoulders, back, abdomen, buttocks, and pelvic floor all play an important role in your posture. If even one of those muscles is weak, your core will be affected, and your posture may be affected.
Regaining proper posture with physical therapy:
If your posture is causing you pain, physical therapy can help. Our licensed physical therapists are movement experts who can provide you with the best resources for reaching your physical performance goals. They will aid you in the improvement of your strength, flexibility, stability, balance, and mobility, all of which will positively affect your posture.
At your initial evaluation, your physical therapist will perform functional testing and diagnostic imaging in order to identify which weakened areas of your body are causing your back pain. After your evaluation is complete, an individualized treatment plan will be created for you, tailored to your specific needs. This plan will focus on relieving your pain, increasing your strength, and improving your overall posture.
Don’t let your pain wear you down any longer. Contact Optimal Motion PT today to schedule a consultation and begin your path toward posture improvement and pain relief!