Is your posture impacting your chronic pain condition?

Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Pain Management

Are you sitting up straight? Is your head back? Shoulders down? Is your weight distributed evenly? 

It’s a lot to think about, isn’t it? Posture is an integral part of our overall health and well-being, but it’s often overlooked and replaced by habitual movement and positioning that isn’t always best for our bodies. 

But, if you’re already grappling with an existing chronic pain condition, being aware of your bodily alignment becomes even more important. Because yes, poor posture can absolutely worsen your chronic pain condition. And rectifying that poor posture can absolutely help you manage your chronic pain symptoms. 

Here’s why… 

How Posture Impacts Your Chronic Pain Condition 

‘Posture is about more than keeping your back straight’, says John Michels MD. Good posture involves being aware of the alignment of your body when you’re sitting, standing, walking or moving. Doing so helps to keep your bones and joints exactly where they should be. 

Straying from those optimal alignments, however, can cause the following

  • Additional stress on joints – the last thing you want if you’re already struggling with a chronic pain condition that impacts your joints, like arthritis. 
  • Nerve and blood vessel compression – this can cause painful sensations throughout the body, exasperating pain already felt with conditions like fibromyalgia or polyneuropathy. 
  • Muscle strain – unnatural postural positions make your muscles work harder than they should, causing additional pain on top of your chronic pain symptoms. 

Put simply, poor posture causes quite a few problems! But as with every habit, the habit of poor posture can be broken.

How to Break Poor Posture Habits 

I’ll start by saying that breaking poor posture habits takes time and effort – it definitely won’t be fixed overnight! But if you think your poor posture could be exasperating your chronic pain condition, try this… 

The Alexander Technique 

The Alexander Technique is used by practitioners to re-educate themselves about habitual movements. It involves inhibiting habitual responses and encourages active consciousness and awareness of the body. 

The more aware you are of what your body is doing, the easier it is for you to correct poor posture habits in your day-to-day life. Give it a try for gradual but noticeable postural improvements. 

Regular Breaks and Movements 

Many poor postural habits are created when we’re sitting for extended periods. For example, if you work at a desk, you may find yourself hunched over slightly or with your legs crossed, both of which throws your alignment out. 

Take regular breaks from sitting positions and try some gentle movement now and again to release pressure on your nerves and blood vessels. This can simply mean taking a minute to straighten your spine or uncrossing your legs to place your feet flat on the floor. 

Ergonomics 

If you’re already struggling with a chronic pain condition, make sure you give your body the best chance of avoiding postural pain by utilising ergonomics. If you sit for extended periods, choose a seat that supports optimal alignment. Even something as simple as selecting the right mattress for your bed can make a huge difference. 

Chronic Pain Support 

If you feel your chronic pain condition is being impacted by your posture, please get in touch for further support.

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