January 28, 2021

Why back pain may not be caused by posture

As many people work from home during this pandemic, desk workers are keen to improve their home set-up, to find the ‘ideal’ chair and desk, to get everything perfectly aligned. However, new research has revealed that back pain is not caused by your posture.

To look into the true link between posture and back pain, Tide collaborated with expert Rushabh Savla, Tide member and founder of R&D Physio to discuss the true link between posture and back pain.

Rushabh, who is a specialist in shoulder, neck and head injuries, commented:

“Perfect posture doesn’t exist – If ‘poor posture’ was the only reason for your pain, you’d be in pain permanently. The problem is the amount of time we spend in a particular posture, so a more likely cause of your back or neck pain is lack of movement.

“In the tissues of our body are sensors called ‘acid sensing ion channels’ (ASICs). These sensors detect changes in pH – how acid or alkali the tissue is. If we don’t move, these sensors produce a sensation of discomfort or pain. I’ve set out six of the gentle stretches we recommend…

  1. Prone Cobra, on elbows

· Press down firmly through your palms and elbows.

· Keep your hips / pelvis on the ground.

2. Child’s Pose

· Lower your bottom as close to your heels as possible while stretching your arms out in front.

3. Child’s Pose with rotation

· A great variation to stretch your obliques and back muscles.

· Like the child’s pose, lower your bottom to the heels.

· Then take one hand and reach diagonally across.

· The other hand can rest on the lower back.

4. Bent leg spinal twists

· With feet together and knees bent, take your legs down to one side and hold.

· Then switch sides.

5. The Rocker

· Hold your knees together and pull them close into your chest.

· If you can’t wrap your hand around your legs, use a towel.

· Then rock gently back and forward, side to side, and make circles with your lower back on the floor.

6. Diaphragm Stretch, or deep breathing

· Lie comfortably with one palm on the chest and the other on the belly.

· Take long slow deep breaths.

· This opens up the abdominal area, and gently stretches the deep back and core muscles.

Liza Haskell, Interim VP of People and Culture at Tide, added:

“As people continue to work from home during this pandemic, the wellbeing, health and productivity of all employees is of the utmost importance. In particular, many desk workers are looking to further their home set-up to get everything perfectly aligned in a bid to avoid back pain or discomfort from prolonged sitting.

“As well as taking these practical set-up measures, as lack of movement is more likely cause of your back or neck pain than poor posture itself, it’s also extremely important to actively encourage your remote workforce to take regular breaks to keep their backs moving as they work from home. The 6 gentle stretches, as instructed by Rushabh, are a great way to do so”.

For more information, visit: https://www.tide.co/blog/productivity-wellbeing/why-back-pain-not-caused-by-posture/