Have you ever developed back pain and wondered – how did this happen when my back has felt fine up until now?
Patients present to my San Diego Chiropractic clinic on a regular basis with neck pain, back pain and other related symptoms that not only lack a history of pain in that area but also have no recent injury or accident to explain their current painful symptoms.
This is frustrating for the patient yet a typical presentation of back pain that I see in my Chiropractic office.
Bad Posture and Back Pain
When patients come in for treatment of back pain with no recent injury history usually the cause of their pain is bad posture. Ongoing postural stress affects our body much like the old analogy of the straws on the camels back. Our bodies are capable of compensating for quite a bit of stress before symptoms appear.
This is good and bad.
The good part of this compensating is that if we didn’t, we would be uncomfortable all the time. The bad part about compensation is that we often fail to recognize when our bodies are being exposed to ongoing low levels of stress.
Once the stress levels build to a certain point, the body part in question reacts with irritation, inflammation and muscle spasm. This combination produces pain and tightness and usually is the reason that patients call my office.
Postural stress can place an amazing amount of stress on your spine. One of my reference books has a chart that describes how different body positions affect the pressure on your discs in the low back. The differences are eye opening.
When standing straight up with ideal posture, the pressure in the discs of the low back is 100%. When lying flat on your back the pressure is at 24%. While sitting straight with good posture, the pressure is at 140% but when slouching forward with poor posture the disc pressure goes to a staggering 190%.
Considering that most of us sit for a good portion of the day, the simple act of sitting becomes a significant source of stress for causing back pain.
This kind of ongoing stress combined with an awkward twist or bend can generate a crisis for the low back.