You may have been told your back pain is due to your weight, age or even large breasts, but doctors have found the true reason and how to avoid it.
According to new research from the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), the shape of a woman’s side profile could be used as an indicator of neck and back problems.
Many woman report back pain from as young as 34, and now studies have shown why we can suffer from this point on – it’s down to posture. Yep! Mum was right.
Women whose heads lean forward are most likely to be currently suffering from back or neck pain (58%), followed by those with an arched back (56%).
Interestingly, women whose heads lean forward are also the most likely to suffer from back or neck pain ‘every day’.
We know our body shapes, but doctors are now urging us to take a look at our side shapes as well.
BCA Chiropractor, Tim Hutchful, said: “Rather than worrying about being an apple or an hourglass, we want people to think about what they look like from the side. Paying closer attention to your body’s side profile can really help to identify back or neck pain triggers”.
There are four side shapes:
• Spoon – flat back, rounded shoulders
• Leaning tower – head leans forward
• Bridge – arched back
• Flat-pack – flat back
To prevent or relieve your back pain, it is important to pinpoint your side shape so you know what to do when the pain starts… and it can be as easy as straightening up.
“The perfect posture should give you a neutral side-on appearance, with your ears, shoulders, hips, knees and ankles in line”, says Dr Hutchful.
“People who want to improve their back and neck pain symptoms through a better posture should try imagining they have a plumb line hanging straight from their ears to ankles – with everything in the middle sitting on the same line.
“One way to do this is to try standing in a relaxed way and then gently contracting the abdominal muscles. When sitting, the gravity line should pass thorough ear, shoulder and hip”.
The BCA has also developed a program of simple stretches and exercises that can improve posture and help prevent back pain by promoting balance, strength and flexibility in the spine, which can be viewed here.
Tell us, what type of side shape do you have? Do you suffer from back pain regularly?