If you sit at a desk all day everyday I can guarantee your posture could do with some
work and also some increased awareness.
What I find common with most of my clients is that any pain they are experiencing, or muscle tightness
or even an injury all stems and starts from somewhere else. Not the actual specific site of the injury or
pain. Most of the time.
Another common cause for some muscle tightness and injuries can be due to muscle compensation.
For example; You broke your right foot. So while your foot is broken you start to use your left
foot and leg more, obviously to protect your right foot.
Now a broken bone takes a while to truley recover and repair, so lets say its been 12 months and you are
finally feeling relatively back to normal. It's been 12 months of walking predominately on the left foot and leg
so you will notice a huge imbalance in the way the right leg appears and the way the right leg functions.
You will have less muscle mass on the right leg and it will not be functioning optimally. On top of that because
your left leg has been doing all of the work, the muscles on that leg will be tight and sometimes what happens
due to the increased workload and poor posture your left leg may call on other muscles to help carry the load.
So unless you rehab your body, posture and re-balance your muscles again after a significant injury you will
find that you will continue to have an imbalance. Sometimes with new clients these imbalances show up and
it may even be from a child hood injury that never crossed your mind.
That's why when you start with a personal trainer they always (or they should) ask about all injuries you have
ever had because it does matter.
So back to the posture and back pain. Most of the time back pain will stem from poor posture, an underactive core,
tight hip flexor muscles and tight hamstrings (not limited to this but this is what I see most due to sitting at a desk all day).
What most of my clients find when they start training is that there weekly visits to the chiro start to decrease as there muscles and core strengthen and lower back pain almost dissapear,besides a few niggles here and there.
So how do you specifically train to improve your posture and decrease back pain?
1. Well first of all you need to figure out what is causing the problem in the first place.
Is it because you work at a desk all day?
Do you have weak glutes and your body compensates by calling on your hamstring muscles to much which in
turn tightens them and pulls on your lower back?
Do you have a weak thoracic spine, back and a tight chest which gives you that hunch over type of look?
Is your posture affected by a past injury?
All these things are a must know so you can not only improve the situation with specific exercises but you can also
address the situation in your day to day life. There is no point doing all the training and exercises and then going
back to your desk day in and day out and hunching over your desk. The awareness of how your posture is and
how your body is mechanically functioning in day to day life is the key to improving this and is often the missing piece people miss.
2. You need to strengthen the weaker muscles and at the same time loosen and stretch out the tighter muscles.
Most people think it is enough to just stretch which should solve the problem but that's not entirely so. In order to
fully recover and really make progress you need to strengthen the weak muscles involved as well so you can
maintain good posture and a strong core.
Also be aware that ironing out some of these kinks will sometimes seem like one step forward to steps back but
the journey will be worth it and if it means you can experience more quality of life with less pain then I say go for it