Is Your Posture Causing Your Pain?

Is Your Posture Causing Your Pain?

December 04, 2023

We’ve all been told at some point that we need to “sit up straight,” and use “correct posture” at all times.
But, the long-held belief that poor posture leads to pain and disability needs updating. For starters, we need to define what posture is good and what posture is bad.
Fortunately, the research tells us that there is no such thing as good or bad posture. Everyone’s body is different and unique, and changes as we age.

In fact, it’s been shown that posture may be more closely related to our mood and beliefs than anything else (you’ve probably noticed that when you’re happy to tend to sit and stand more upright and “proud,” and when you’re in a bad mood you tend to slouch a lot more). More importantly, there is no optimal posture and avoiding certain postures will not prevent pain.
But, does this mean posture doesn’t matter? Of course not.
In today’s day and age, more and more people are working from home for long hours in front of a computer. It is not uncommon for individuals to become sensitive to certain positions that they are required to spend long periods of time in.

This doesn’t mean that the position is bad. Rather, it is a sign that the individual needs a break to rest the muscles, ligaments etc that are strained a bit more in that posture.
Sitting down for greater than one hour is not dangerous and it shouldn’t be avoided. However, moving frequently to change positions may feel relieving and staying physically fit is important for overall health and wellness. Here is a step-by-step process to implement at work when certain postures start to become irritating.

Movement Snacks

When we become sensitive to certain postures throughout the day, it can feel good to move into the opposite of those positions throughout the day to provide relief. Here are a few go-to exercises we like to recommend to individuals that spend a lot of time behind a desk.


  • 1-2 sets of 6-10 reps

Open Book:

  • 1-2 sets of 6-10 reps

Kneeling Lat Stretch:

  • 1-2 sets of 30-60 sec holds
Schedule Positional Changes
Most people go throughout the day without changing positions and wait until they feel pain to attempt to address the problem. Rather than waiting for symptoms to start, schedule positional changes throughout the day proactively.
Everyone’s symptoms and positional tolerance vary. A common recommendation we’ll make is to set a timer for 30 minutes and alter the working position each time the timer goes off.

There is no right or wrong position in this strategy, individuals can transition from sitting to standing to lying and repeat throughout the workday.

Go Outside For A Walk

Walking is a fantastic form of physical activity, especially for individuals rehabbing from painful conditions. It is often a form of activity that is well tolerated by most and is a great way to work towards the physical activity guidelines.
For patients who spend long hours behind a desk, we recommend going for a walk to get outside, changing position, and introducing aerobic activity into the day. This is often a helpful strategy to alleviate stress/mood, change positions, and introduce low-moderate conditioning which has been shown to help manage pain.
Even something as quick as a 5-minute walk a few times a day can go a long way in helping resolve any position-related aches and pains!
If you’ve been struggling with a nagging injury that won’t go away, fill out our contact form, and one of our team members will reach out to see if we can help you!

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