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Does Sitting Up Straight Really Help In Curing Backache?

Remember, when we were kids, our parents and teachers said to us, "Sit up straight, kid, do not slouch!", right?

We were made to walk, sit or stand upright and we thought that was because, our elders wanted our posture to look presentable, attentive and energetic.

However, the truth is that, our posture has a direct effect on our overall health and practicing wrong postures for a long time can lead to a number of health conditions.

Now, we know that a lot of people suffer from back pain often. The intensity of backaches can vary from person to person, depending on a lot of things.

For instance, if the back pain is caused by a minor sprain while working out, it could be bearable and subside in a few days.

However, if the back pain is caused by arthritis or osteoporosis, which is a bone disease, then the pain can be excruciating and could be a long-term condition.

In the case of some people, they tend to experience back pain, without a particular cause such as a disease, injury, surgery, etc.

So, in such cases, one must check to see if they have the right posture while sitting, lying down, standing, walking, working out, etc.

So, is there such a thing as the "perfect" or the right posture to reduce back pain? Let us find out below.

Link Between Posture And Back Pain

Normally, people with desk-bound jobs, who are required to sit in front of a computer screen for more than 6-7 hours a day and keep typing, complain of neck pain, backaches, headaches, etc.

So, it would be easy for a person to think that, people who sit in slouched positions all day in their chairs have back pain and neck pain, because of their postures.

However, according to a number of surveys conducted, even people who managed to sit up straight consciously and had specific chairs which claim to be good for the posture, also complained of back pain!

So, this contradiction makes us wonder if a straight posture while sitting is the only solution to back pain.

In fact, Ashley James, a spokesperson for The Chartered Society For Physiotherapy, who also researches occupational hazards and workplace causes for lower back pain, does not agree that posture is related to back pain.

She says that, every person has slightly different postures and there is no such thing as a "perfect posture", and not everyone is suffering from back pain.

It has also been found by a number of research studies that there is no direct link between posture and back pain.

So, now, we wonder yet again, if it is not the posture, what could be causing back pain in people who sit for a long time?

Link Between Sitting And Back Pain

So, if posture is not the actual problem in causing a lower back pain in people who have sitting jobs or sit for too long, then what is?

Well, experts say that, lack of movement is the culprit in sick cases, where people sit for too long working at their desks, reading books or watching television.

More than a bad posture, the bigger cause of backache is the fact that people remain seated for too long, without taking breaks to walk or have any kind of movement.

Why Long Hours Of Sitting Can Cause Back Pain

Now, we found out that, it is not slouching or the bad posture which is the main cause for back pain, but it is simply sitting down for too long without a break, which causes back pain.

Ashley James says that, our body mechanism is designed to have constant movement.

So, when a person sits for too long, the nerve endings called nociceptors in the body detect a pressure impulse caused by long hours of sitting, which can cause back pain in the long run.

So, it is safe to say that long hours of sitting without movement is one of the main causes for back pain, more than having a wrong posture.

However, on an another note, posture and age can be co-related.

Philip Conaghan, a professor of musculoskeletal medicine in the University Of Leeds says that, as we get older, especially after the age of 60, bad posture and slouching can be one of the causes for back pain, as our muscles are weak at this age.

So, if you have a sitting job, or if you tend to sit for too long, break that habit and ensure to get some movement from time to time, to reduce back pain.

Read more about: health back ache
Story first published: Wednesday, May 23, 2018, 20:00 [IST]
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