How Does Your Posture Affect Back Pain and Neck Pain?

Have you ever wondered how it can be that you can sit around all day doing nothing strenuous and develop back pain or neck pain? When you start to examine the structure of our bodies and apply some simple rules of physics, the fact that we don’t suffer from more frequent or intense back pain and neck pain is a wonder. In my chiropractic office in San Diego, California, I see office workers on a regular basis that have significant back and neck complaints related to simple ergonomic issues.

Back pain or neck pain can affect anyone at any time. I see patients that have injured their backs and necks from lifting, operating machinery, sports injuries, auto accidents and falls on a daily basis. I would classify these injuries as typical or expected types of injuries. Many non-chiropractic patients or new chiropractic patients would be surprised to find that the most common type of injury that I see in my office is not from lifting heavy sacks of concrete but from the long term consequences of postural stress.

Postural stress is the “silent killer” when it comes to our spinal health. Postural stress occurs during both seated and standing positions and any time that your spine looses its’ natural curves and / or moves forward beyond its neutral balance point.

An example of a posturally stressful position for your neck would be when you are sitting at the computer leaning your neck and head forward while keyboarding, mousing or viewing the screen. Assuming a posture in which your head and neck are extended out in front of your body reverses the normal curve of your neck and shifts your head forward of its balance point.

When we assume postures that cause stress on our spines, the stability that is inherent in our structure when postural boundaries are respected is lost. Stress exposes our ligaments and muscles to prolonged periods of stretching which results in fatigue, irritation, inflammation, back pain and neck pain and eventually arthritis.

Treating neck pain and back pain that has resulted from postural stress requires a multifaceted approach. Chiropractic care combined with stretching and nutritional support will relieve the pain and stiffness and restore normal, full joint motion. This part of your recovery may take several treatments or a lengthy treatment program based on the length of time that you have been in pain and the severity of your symptoms.

In addition to chiropractic care, you must eliminate or modify the causes of the postural stress. A workstation analysis can reveal ergonomic issues that are instigators of postural stress. Ice pack applications to the specific areas of neck pain and back pain in twenty minute sessions are also helpful.

The best way to begin your care is discuss your issues with your chiropractor. Chiropractors are well trained in dealing with postural stress issues and the neck pain and back pain that result from it. At my San Diego based chiropractic clinic we use a complete approach that utilizes chiropractic care supported by specific stretches and exercises. We also encourage the proper nutritional support to facilitate the healing process. Whatever approach that you take to relieve the pain of postural stress, please be aware of the importance of eliminating the source of the postural stress in addition to seeking treatment.

Dr. Steve Jones is a practicing chiropractor in San Diego California. He was licensed in 1991 and received his degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic – West. Dr. Jones has focused on the study and implementation of ergonomics in the work place and holds a certification as a specialist in health ergonomics. Dr. Jones can be contacted through his websites at and

Related Back Pain Articles

  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Facebook
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Yahoo Buzz
  • StumbleUpon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *