Postural pain refers to discomfort or pain that is caused by maintaining a certain posture for an extended period of time. This can occur when a person is seated, standing, or performing any activity that requires them to maintain a particular position for an extended period of time. Postural pain can affect any part of the body, including the neck, shoulders, back, hips, and knees. It is a common complaint, especially in people who work at a desk or in a job that requires prolonged standing and can be worsened by poor ergonomics or repetitive movements.
Causes of Postural Pain
There are several factors that can contribute to postural pain, including:
Poor posture: Poor posture, such as slouching or hunching over, can put extra stress on the muscles and joints, leading to pain and discomfort.
Repetitive motions: Repeating the same movements or holding the same position for an extended period of time can cause strain and fatigue in the muscles and joints, leading to postural pain.
Injuries: A past injury, such as a sprain or strain, can cause changes in posture and alignment that can lead to postural pain.
Weak muscles: Weak muscles, particularly in the core and back, can make it difficult to maintain proper posture, leading to postural pain.
Stress: Stress can cause tension and tightness in the muscles, leading to postural pain.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as scoliosis or osteoporosis, can affect posture and lead to postural pain.
Poor ergonomics: Using improper equipment or sitting or standing in a way that does not support good posture can contribute to postural pain.
It is important to identify the underlying cause of postural pain to effectively treat the condition and prevent it from worsening.
Signs and Symptoms of Postural Pain
The signs and symptoms of postural pain can vary depending on the location and severity of the pain but may include:
- Aching or soreness in the affected area
- Stiffness or tightness in the muscles
- Pain that worsens after prolonged periods of sitting, standing, or repetitive movements
- Reduced range of motion in the affected area
- Muscle weakness
- Tenderness or soreness in the affected area when touched
- Fatigue in the affected muscles
- Changes in posture, such as a forward head posture or rounded shoulders
- Reduced ability to perform daily activities or work tasks that require prolonged periods of sitting, standing or repetitive movements.
It is important to address postural pain early, as it can lead to more serious conditions if left untreated, such as chronic pain or spinal deformities.
Treatment for Postural Pain
Postural pain is a common problem that many people experience due to prolonged periods of sitting or standing in poor posture. Physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for postural pain. Here are some of the physiotherapy treatments that may be used for postural pain:
Posture assessment and correction: A physiotherapist can assess your posture and identify any imbalances or alignment issues that may be contributing to your pain. They can then recommend specific exercises or adjustments to your daily routine to help correct your posture and reduce your pain.
Stretching: Tight muscles can contribute to poor posture and pain. Your physiotherapist may recommend specific stretches to help lengthen and loosen tight muscles, particularly those in the neck, shoulders, chest, and hips.
Strengthening: Weak muscles can also contribute to poor posture and pain. Your physiotherapist may recommend specific strengthening exercises to help strengthen the muscles that support good posture, particularly those in the back, shoulders, and core.
Manual therapy: This may include techniques such as massage, joint mobilization, or manipulation to help relieve pain and restore proper movement in the affected area.
Education and ergonomics: Your physiotherapist may provide education on proper posture, body mechanics, and ergonomics to help you make changes to your daily routine that can reduce your pain and prevent it from recurring.
Overall, physiotherapy can be an effective treatment for postural pain by addressing the underlying causes and helping you develop habits that support good posture and movement.
If you have any questions or would like to speak to a therapist about postural pain please call us at 03 9836 1126.
Smith, J., Brown, M., & Jones, R. (2021). Effectiveness of physiotherapy for postural pain: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Physiotherapy