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‘Couch Slouch’ and Lower Back Pain

You have had a long day, you’re tired and come home and sink into your couch.  You let your body sink back into a lazy comfortable position and relax into your favourite show or book.  Night after night the same position is repeated.  Not good –  lower back pain becomes your “normal.”

Low back pain is common today, and ‘couch slouch’ is adding to the prevalence of low back pain.  Sitting in this relaxed posture is creating a bad postural pattern that is not easily corrected.  Some of your muscles get stretched or shortened; your ligaments stretch to abnormal lengths and your discs undergo a tremendous amount of stress.  Long-term this can cause inflammation and pain, disc degeneration, sciatica, and spinal arthritis.  Simply, poor posture over time causes damage to the spine.

Could ‘couch slouch’ be causing your lower back pain?

The only way to know how this if this is affecting you is to look at your posture from the inside.  There is a normal postural model for comparison, so it is relatively easy to find out with a low back x-ray.  Click here to watch a quick video demonstrating how we analyze good and bad posture objectively.  Finally, this postural pattern is more commonly seen today as we sit more, have more screen time, and do not seem to have as much body awareness while seated.

What can you do to help yourself?

  • Find out if you have this postural pattern with an x-ray.
  • Also, use a pillow to support your low back while sitting.
  • Practice good body awareness when sitting.
  • Plan on getting up at period intervals to break the pattern.

There are many causes of lower back pain.  Modifying how you sit on the couch, in your car, and at work can help minimize your lower back pain.  By far, this is one of the easiest things in your control to help yourself feel better.

Be posture aware,

Dr. Jon Saunders

 

 

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