Did you know that 50% of Canadians reported experiencing lower back pain over a six month period? Back pain is clearly endemic. Chronic back pain can have severe implications on every single aspect of your life, from your work to your hobbies. Even your personal relationships can suffer when you’re suffering from chronic pain.
This is one of the primary reasons that so many Canadians are seeking back pain treatment. Canadians spend an average of between $6 and $12 billion at chronic pain clinics each year.
Why is back pain so prevalent? The Canadian Chiropractic Association attributes the surge in chronic back pain to an increase in sedentary lifestyles. Many of us work desk jobs that require us to sit for long periods. Healthy habits can help you reduce the likelihood of suffering from this disruptive condition.
Here are some reasons you should be sitting up straight. It’s not just about your back, either. It’ll help you look your best and broadcast a positive image at the same time.
Why You Should Be Sitting Up Straight
Before we begin, let’s start by taking stock of your posture. Good posture is another name for a neutral spine. This means your spine’s natural state. Your muscular system is designed to support your spine in this resting state. This helps ensure that the strain is equally distributed across both sides of your body. This helps prevent imbalances, strained muscles, and injuries that arise due to overcompensation when a strain occurs.
When sitting, proper posture means both feet planted firmly on the floor, which distributes weight evenly across your hips. Your back should be mostly straight, at that point. Your shoulders should be back but relaxed while your ears rest squarely above your collarbone. When standing, proper posture means standing with knees slightly bent to help prevent locked knees or hyperextension.
Now that you know how to improve your posture, let’s look at why you should.
#1: It Will Improve Your Breathing
Poor posture doesn’t only affect your bones and muscles. It impacts every part of your body and, thus, your overall health.
Slouching can have adverse effects on your respiratory system. Improper posture shortens the muscles and tendons in the front of your body. This impacts your ability to take deep, feel breaths.
Shallow breathing can cause everything from difficulty concentrating to increased anxiety. Proper, healthy breathing is one of the most vital aspects of your overall health.
#2: It Reduces Headaches
Improper posture can lead to tension headaches, brought on by stress in the back of your neck. Improving your posture helps to reduce strain on the back of your neck, which helps to reduce the likelihood of tension headaches.
To help keep headaches to a minimum, set yourself a reminder to check your posture regularly. Make sure you’re keeping your head up if you work at a desk or use a computer regularly. You might want to incorporate some stretching exercises into your daily routine. If tension headaches persist, you might want to consult a pain management clinic.
#3: It Decreases Back Pain
One of the most obvious benefits of good posture, and the one we’re most concerned with, is decreasing back pain. Poor posture is one of the leading causes of chronic back pain. Slouching puts unnecessary pressure on your spine and related muscles. It can also compress your vertebrae and nerves, as well as restricting blood flow, which can have other negative health consequences.
Sitting up straight also helps strengthen your core, which further reduces the strain put on your spine and surrounding muscles.
#4: It Improves Your Mood
Research has shown that sitting or standing up straight helps you to feel happier as well as increasing your confidence. It’s even been shown to help people feel less depressed and have more energy. This is primarily due to the increased oxygen in your bloodstream. This enables you to perform at your absolute peak. Lack of oxygen can cause stress in the brain as well as limit the production of serotonin, which is one of the chemicals in your brain responsible for positive moods.
#5: It Improves Concentration
Office jobs and desk work often require us to concentrate for long periods. If you find yourself feeling tired or having a hard time concentrating, you might start by focusing on your posture rather than seeking out stimulants.
Sitting up straight increases oxygen in your bloodstream, as we’ve already mentioned. This sends more oxygen-rich blood to your brain, aiding in concentration as well as feeling energized and positive. When you start feeling faded at the end of your day, try straightening your spine. You’ll be amazed at the difference it can make!
#6: It Decreases Neck And Shoulder Pain
Good posture doesn’t just impact your spine. Or, more correctly, your spine is connected to other parts of your body, which can get thrown out of whack when your posture is not right. Slouching can cause your head to droop. This puts a strain on your shoulders, upper back, and neck. Straightening your spine decreases that strain, which should help reduce neck and shoulder pain and stiffness.
#7: It Improves Digestion
Poor posture and slouching compress your internal organs. This makes it harder for food to move through your gastrointestinal system. If you struggle with chronic indigestion, acid reflux, or other digestive issues, you might start by checking your posture before seeking out digestive aids or medication.
Having proper posture improves your life in every conceivable way. If you’ve been experiencing chronic lower back pain, make sure your office chair offers the right lumbar support. Also, make sure to take regular breaks to get up and stretch. This will help your spine and surrounding muscles stay as loose as possible, so you’ll be at your best throughout your entire day!
Looking For A Chronic Back Pain Clinic in Ontario?
At Brampton Physiocare & Wellness Clinic, our experienced team of chiropractors and therapists take great pride in offering our patients world-class care.
We offer a wide array of different physical therapy treatments, ranging from acupuncture to sports therapy. If you’re looking for the best chronic pain clinic that is also warm, friendly, and approachable, you’ve come to the right place!
Contact us today to schedule an appointment and begin feeling your best!