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Understanding the Connection Between Poor Posture, a Weak Core, and Chronic Lower Back Pain

Understanding the Connection Between Poor Posture, a Weak Core, and Chronic Lower Back Pain

It’s estimated that about 8% of adults in the United States have chronic lower back pain. While this type of pain may occur from any number of causes, poor posture and a weak core may contribute to your discomfort.

At Orthopedic & Wellness in Frederick, Waldorf, and Germantown, Maryland, our orthopedic and pain management physicians — Dr. Ojedapo Ojeyemi and Dr. Matthew Roh — take a comprehensive approach to treating lower back pain, addressing all of the factors that contribute to your discomfort. Here, we explain the connection between poor posture, a weak core, and lower back pain. 

About your posture

Your posture refers to how you hold your body both when you’re active (standing and walking) and when you’re not active (sitting and sleeping). Your spine plays a key role in helping maintain good posture. 

Your spine has natural curves in the neck, the mid back, and the lower back that help evenly distribute your body weight so no one part is under more stress than another. Maintaining the natural curves of your spine, whether you’re walking or sitting, is key to maintaining good posture. 

If you wake up feeling achy, you’re probably not maintaining good posture while you sleep. The same is true if you have low back pain after sitting or standing for a long period. These aches and pains develop because of poor posture. 

Function of your core muscles

Your “core” refers to the central part of your body. It includes the muscles in your lower back, abdomen, waist, hips, and buttocks. These muscles are what keep you upright and give you the ability to bend, twist, and lift. Your core also provides stability.

One of the main functions of your core is to reduce stress on your spine. Strong core muscles provide extra support for your body weight, reducing the load carried by your spine.

Posture, core muscles, and lower back pain

If you have poor posture and a weak core, your lower back needs to do more work. This extra stress may cause or contribute to your lower back pain.

Many people with chronic low back pain find it difficult to stand up straight because of their discomfort, making it a challenge for them to maintain good posture. Your weak core muscles also affect posture, causing you to lean forward.

When working with back pain patients, our pain management specialists incorporate physical therapy so you can learn exercises that improve core muscle strength and posture. We include these therapies in the treatment plan so you get long-term relief from their discomfort. 

Injections and surgery can only take you so far. Good posture and strong core muscles are key to long-term back pain relief.

If your lower back pain is keeping you from living your best life, let the team at Orthopedics & Wellness help. Call our office or book an appointment online today.

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