I have discussed how lower back pain can be caused by poor ergonomics and suggested ways to improve how you sit at your desk. Now I will discuss standing posture and how poor posture can cause back and neck pain.
Most of you have probably been told at some stage in your life to “stand up straight and pull your shoulders back”. As a child, you might think that your parents are just nagging you, but actually, the poor postural habits you develop at a young age stick with you throughout your life. Most of you have also probably seen old men and women walking through a shopping centre completely hunched over, barely able to lift their heads. This is the result of poor postural habits.
Below is a picture illustrating what good and poor posture look like from side on. In good posture, the ear, shoulder, hand, knee and ankle should all be in the same line. In the picture showing poor posture, you will see that the head protrudes forward, the shoulders are rounded and there is a severe arch in the lower back. This ‘hunchback’ posture puts undue stress on various parts of the body, particularly the neck and lower back regions, resulting in pain.