Neck, Shoulder, Hip, or Low Back Pain? It Could Be Your Posture!


Learn how posture affects pain, including common types of posture, pain patterns, and ways to fix your posture naturally.
Woman with Low Back Pain

April 2022. This article is independently written by Shelby Golding. All opinions given are hers. Shelby has been certified as a personal trainer and nutritional specialist since 2007. In 2008, she found her passion for writing about these topics and hasn't looked back.

Woman with Low Back Pain

Most people are familiar with the idea that you should “stand up straight.” The irony is that a straight back is an indication of poor posture. Your spine naturally curves in an S-shape, and the ideal posture curves at the neck, mid-back, and low back. Looking at the body from the side, your head should be above the shoulders and shoulders lined up over the hips.
 
Posture looks a little bit different depending on various factors, including habit, genetics, injuries, and even personality. For example, a 2012 study on posture and personality linked an excessive mid- or low back curve to extroverted personalities and a lack of spinal curves with introverted personalities.
 
Each postural pattern comes with unique pain and injury patterns. Keep reading to learn if your posture causes your neck, shoulder, hip, or low back pain.

Types Of Posture

Types Of Posture
Postural patterns are set early on in life, but they are not permanent. However, identifying your postural strengths and weaknesses will help you to determine if posture is the cause of your pain.
  •  Kyphosis is defined by an excessive forward curve of the thoracic spine or hunchback. This type of posture can cause shoulder and low back pain. Kyphosis is a typical pattern for older women and people with osteoporosis.

  • Lordosis is characterized by a severe lower back curve. The glutes are shoved backward, and the lumbar spine curves inward. As a result, the muscles of the hips are overstretched and weak, while the low back muscles are tight. This type of posture causes neck, shoulder, hip, and low back pain. Lordosis is common in people with arthritis, muscular dystrophy, and dwarfism.

  • A flat back is when the spine's natural curves are flattened out. This posture creates a backward tilt to your pelvis, minimizing the lumbar spine curve and causing the shoulders to tip forward. As a result, you experience shoulder, back, and hip pain. Flat back is common in people with degenerative disc disease, compression fractures, or ankylosing spondylitis.

  • Swayback is identified by exaggerated spinal curves. Your pelvis is shoved forward, and your upper body shifts back to compensate for your center of gravity change. Sway-back primarily causes hip and low back pain. Swayback is common in people who sit for long periods.
The ideal posture makes it possible for a person to withstand the constant pull of gravity. If your posture is out of alignment, it will cause a chain reaction of tightness, discomfort, and eventually pain. is identified by exaggerated spinal curves. Your pelvis is shoved forward, and your upper body shifts back to compensate for your center of gravity change. Sway-back primarily causes hip and low back pain. Swayback is common in people who sit for long periods.

Pain Patterns


Different types of posture result in unique muscle imbalances. Over time, these muscle imbalances cause pain in a predictable pattern. A few of the most common posture pain patterns include those related to slouching, a tucked pelvis, lordosis, and scoliosis.
 
Slouching and tucked pelvis are caused by a lack of exercise, excessive sitting, and ineffective patterns of movements. Over time, the natural pull of gravity begins to strain the neck and upper back. Every inch of forward positioning adds about 8 pounds of pressure to the neck. At the same time, your core and low back get weaker. As a result, you may lose the spine's natural curve, resulting in a flat back.

When a person has a tucked pelvis, the pelvic bowl is tipped backward. This causes overextended hips and tight glutes and hamstrings. This pain pattern also causes a flat back.

The opposite pattern happens in people with lordosis and sway-back postures. The pelvis tips forward, weakening the muscles of the low back and hips. This causes overextended abdominals and hamstrings. Your shoulders may also tilt forward to compensate, and more pressure will be put on the neck.
 
Scoliosis
is often diagnosed during adolescents and is characterized by a sideways curve in the spine. Most cases are not debilitating, but occasionally, the curve will worsen as the person grows. Back pain is common in people with scoliosis. You may also experience radiating back down the spine and into the legs and feet.
 
No matter your natural postural pattern, you can combat these muscular imbalances with certain posture-building techniques.

Improve Your Posture Naturally

Improving your posture is not as easy as standing and sitting up straight. Sometimes, these patterns have been with us since childhood. You may have even gotten used to the idea that your pelvis is always slightly tucked, or your shoulders tend to stay hunched forward.
 
If you are unsure if you have good posture, you can find out by standing up against a wall. Your feet should be six inches from the base of the wall, and your butt should touch it. Both the low back and neck should be 2 inches away. Don't worry if you do not line up exactly right. Posture is something that can be improved or changed with the proper techniques.

A few ways that you can improve your posture naturally include:
● Improve flexibility in tight muscles by practicing yoga or stretching regularly.
● Build strength in weak muscles with weight training or body-weight exercises.
● Make sitting and standing straight into a habit using a posture corrector like a back brace.
● Avoid heels except on special occasions.
● Invest in a comfortable mattress that does not strain your spine.
● Focus on building a solid core.
● Exercise to lose weight. Gaining weight puts pressure on the joints and spine, affecting your posture.

Postural patterns do not always cause pain. However, if they aren't addressed, the body will naturally compensate. Your muscles will become weaker or tighter as you age, resulting in pain or injury.

Posture and Pain

To discover if poor posture is the cause of your neck, shoulder, hip, or low back pain, look in a mirror and analyze the curves of your spine. If you are missing one of the three curves, your posture may not be ideal. However, even if you have a slightly tucked pelvis, mild scoliosis, or lordosis, you may not have any pain. Speak to a doctor if you have any questions about the origins of your pain and whether your posture is the problem.
 
Don’t forget to use your Kailo pain patch any time you’re dealing with pain. Just apply the patch near the site of discomfort and breathe a sigh of relief. A recent clinical study showed a significant decrease in musculoskeletal pain, such as back pain, neck pain, muscle and tendon pain, and many others.
 
Disclaimer: Kailo should not be used if you have a pacemaker or if you are pregnant. Always consult your doctor or health care professional before using Kailo.

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