Physiotherapy Advice on Back Pain and the Relationship to Slouching


Back Pain and the Relationship to Slouching

Brought to you by Christina Foch – Certified Physiotherapist

Key Causes of Slouching

  • Habit – all the reasons below are usually what creates a slouch habit. See the following reasons and determine if you suffer from any of these. If so, be happy in the fact that it is only a bad habit and not a physical disability. You can change it without drugs, therapy or appointments. It’s up to you.
  • Fatigue – when we slouch we release the abs and ‘cave’ into ourselves
  • Laziness – sitting upright takes a bit of effort if the habit is not there. We are against gravity so sometimes it is easier to slouch than to sit or stand erect
  • Large breasted people sometimes feel awkward so they purposely try to minimize their look by drawing shoulders forward and chest in.
  • Lack of confidence – trying to become smaller by coiling inward
  • Depression/Anxiety – studies have shown that people who are depressed, anxious or nervous in nature tend to protect their heart area by ‘withdrawing’ it inward.

What Slouching Does to the Body

  • Creates poor posture which results in imbalances in muscle structures
  • Shortens muscles in the front chest area – lengthens and stresses muscles in the back which fatigues the body
  • By ‘coiling’ inward you are reducing the volume of space that your lungs have for a deep, full breath. Slouching causes poor breathing patterns
  • Because of the above concerns, slouching causes fatigue to the body.
  • Muscles that are overused tire and cause the body to feel tired.

Instructions to Correct Back Pain caused by Slouching

  • Draw the shoulder blades back towards the spine
  • Draw the shoulders slightly back and down away from ears
  • Draw head back so that ears are over shoulders
  • Draw chin in slightly and make sure it is parallel to the floor
  • Allow the spine to be in neutral position. This means that there are ‘natural’ curves in the neck and lower back.
  • The balance is in the ears being over the shoulders, and the shoulders being over the hips. The curves are natural within these ‘checkpoints’

Consider This:
If you suffer from a ‘slouching’ pattern, then your pectoral muscles are probably shortened and may take a while to lengthen. To help correct this imbalance do the ‘SOS’ (Shoulder Opener Stretch) as many times throughout the day as possible. Even once is better than none!

Important Considerations of physiotherapy advice
This advice is general and should be viewed with the intent that this will not support every case. Christina advises based on a general experience. If you are in this situation you may want to see your Doctor or health care provider. This advice is something that you may try to support you in your effort



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