The Role of Posture in Preventing Back Pain

As any Pain Doctor will tell you: “Most of us get back pain at some point in our lives. It may be due to a sports-related injury, an accident, or a congenital condition such as scoliosis. But most of the time, upper or lower back pain develops during the course of day-to-day life. Repetitive activities at work or home, such as sitting at a computer or lifting and carrying, may produce tension and muscle tightness that result in a backache. One solution to preventing back pain is to improve posture” [1]

The Low-Down

As countless people can testify, back pain can seriously impact us both physically and mentally. But in the majority of cases, there are remedial solutions. In the first instance, if you are experiencing back pain for an extended period of time (for example, over 4 weeks), then the smart thing to do, is to book an appointment with a Pain Specialist as soon as possible. This will ensure that you receive an accurate diagnosis, and are given a Holistic Personalised Treatment Plan (involving both traditional and the latest cutting-edge treatments and therapies), right from the get-go. And as leading Pain Doctors work with a multi-discipline team, setting up and monitoring all the modalities you need, is very efficient.

Did You Know?

When it comes to preventing back pain, as Harvard Medical notes: as well as improving your posture; maintaining a healthy weight, and being generally physically fit, are also vitally important [1].

Posture 101

“Posture is the way you hold your body while standing, sitting, or performing tasks like lifting, bending, pulling, or reaching. If your posture is good, the bones of your spine — the vertebrae — are correctly aligned” [1]

• When we are standing upright, our spinal cervical, thoracic and lumbar curves, should be aligned and balanced. – This is our optimal posture
• However, if we slouch, then we have no cervical curve, and our lumbar curve is reduced
• Furthermore, if we have an exaggerated shoulders back posture, then we have sharp thoracic curve, and an exaggerated lumbar curve [1]

Improving Your Posture

Your Pain Specialist is likely to recommend that you practise a few super simple exercises, and even some imagery. You can do this several times throughout the course of the day.


• Visualise a straight line running through your body from the ceiling or sky, to the floor. (Be sure that your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, are even. and line up vertically)
• Now visualise a sturdy cord which is connected to the top of your head, and pulling you upwards, as it stretches your spine and makes you feel taller (it is easy to feel this in your cervical spine)
• Be sure to keep your pelvis level (and do not let your lower back sway). Moreover, you should resist the urge to stand on your toes! Rather then the latter, simply visualise yourself stretching your head towards the ceiling, thereby expanding the space between your rib cage and pelvis. Imagine that you are an ice skater or dancer, as opposed to a soldier standing to attention [1]

Simple Exercises

• Shoulder Blade Squeeze: Sit up nice and straight in a chair, and place your hands on your thighs. (Be sure to hold your shoulders down, and keep your chin level). Now gently move your shoulders back, as you squeeze your shoulder blades together. Once you have achieved the latter, hold this squeeze for a count of five; and then relax. Repeat several times
• Upper-Body Stretch: Stand facing a corner with your arms outstretched (with your hands flat against the wall, and your elbows at shoulder height. Now put one foot in front of the other, and bend your forward knee while simultaneously exhaling, as you lean your body towards the corner. Maintain a straight back, and keep your head and chest up. Hold this pose for 20-30 seconds; and then relax. Repeat several times [1]


[2]. Harvard Health (2020). “4 Ways to Turn Good Posture into Less Back Pain.”