It turns out your mother was right – it’s all about balance. Good posture allows our joints, ligaments, and muscles to work together in an efficient way to decrease strain and workload. Gravity is beating us down all day. If we don’t position our bodies in a posture that allows for good balance and support, the force of gravity will pull on our muscles and ligaments leading to strain. Strain often leads to pain.
Some of you may be familiar with the NPR piece on “Text Neck.” 1 If you hold your head at 60 degree of flexion, that is the equivalent of putting 60 lbs of pressure through your neck – now wouldn’t that give you a headache? The muscles and ligaments along the back of your neck are forced to work six times as hard as the neck of a person with good posture. So, if you are reading this blog on your phone, raise it up to eye level or lift your head and cast your eyes downward. Your neck will thank you.
At Urology Austin, our therapists are all Pelvic Floor Physical Therapists who focus on working with conditions that stem from or affect the pelvic floor. As physical therapists, we are also movement specialists. How a person sits, stands, moves, and engages in daily activities will affect their pelvis and that is something we can help change.
How poor posture affects your pelvis
Sitting with one leg tucked under you or slouching by sitting on the back of your buttocks are just two common examples of poor sitting postures that can affect your pelvis. These positions of poor posture place strain through your ligaments and will actually change the length of your muscles over time, leading to pain and altered muscle performance. Poor posture can cause a myriad of pain points: low back pain, coccyx (tailbone) pain, groin pain, incontinence, urgency, and frequency (just to name a few).
Do you think your posture is affecting your pelvis? Try adjusting your seat in your car or at your desk. Or change how you sleep at night by putting a pillow between your knees if you sleep on your side. Finally, try not to sit for long periods of time – get up and move around every 30-45 mins. All of these actions can create positive change and alleviate pain. Your mother and your body will thank you.
This blog was written by Alison Gallup, PT, DPT, OCS
Contact me at Alison.Gallup@urologyaustin.com
- Sullivan, Laura. (2014, Nov 20). Keep Your Head Up: ‘Text Neck’ Take a Toll on the Spine. The Two Way.