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Does Bad Posture Cause Back Pain?

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Back pain can be an extremely debilitating form of pain. While pain in most other parts of the body can often be alleviated by resting, back pain can persist whether we are standing, moving, sitting, or lying down. There could be any number of causes to back pain, from illness to physical trauma, but could bad posture be to blame?

Symptoms

Identifying the cause of back pain can be a tricky task, and one that is best done with a medical professional if the pain persists. But if you’re trying to understand possible causes of your pain for yourself, there are a few things to look out for. Pain that flares up at certain times or when you are in certain positions is a strong indication that posture is to blame. Pain that starts in the neck and moves downward gradually is also a common symptom, as is pain that persists over a long period of time.

Causes

There is no one single reason behind the onset of back pain. It is usually a combination of factors that gradually lead to the pain becoming more and more noticeable over time. One reason that the back can be affected by pain is simply evolution. Although we are bipedal creatures, our backs did not evolve that way. For most of history, we walked hunched over on all fours. It is only in the last few hundred thousand years that we began to walk upright, and our bodies still haven’t really adjusted to this.

More influential than evolution however is the modern lifestyle. Many working people spend hours sitting still at a desk, and if the correct posture isn’t held, our backs can become used to staying in positions that aren’t necessarily the best for us, even if they are the “default” position for us. Additionally, we spend a lot more time sitting or lying down, often in very unnatural positions. If we spend so much of our lives in these unhealthy poses, it should come as no surprise that they will negatively affect us.

Prevention

Unfortunately, the only way to prevent or tackle back pain is to adjust our lifestyle. Being conscious of how we hold ourselves and how it will affect our bodies is the best way to avoid this type of pain. Since bad posture is something that develops over the course of months or years, it also requires a lot of time to fix. It is best to think of your posture as something that is constantly developing, because it is. Just like with diet or muscles, you can’t achieve your goal and expect to keep the result without continuing the work. If you believe bad posture is causing you back pain, then the only way to deal with it is to change your posture. It will take time, and effort, but it will also become far easier and more rewarding the longer you do it.