Whether you’re sitting at a desk, standing in line at the grocery store, or relaxing on the couch, poor posture can stress and strain muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons.
When slouching becomes a habit, a temporary crick in your neck or ache in your back can worsen and become chronic. Poor posture can also aggravate already painful conditions such as osteoarthritis, sciatica, and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), among others.
John S. Michels, MD is a pain management specialist who is recognized by his peers and patients as an expert in treating chronic pain issues. He offers a wide range of highly effective, minimally invasive therapies designed to help you regain mobility as you experience life without pain.
Find out why this dedicated physician often includes posture correction therapy in the personalized pain management treatment strategies he designs for patients throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth region of Texas.
Understanding the importance of posture
Posture is about more than keeping your back straight. It describes the way you position (align) your body when sitting, walking, and lying still as well as how you move when participating in sports, work activities, or chores around the home.
Good posture helps keep the bones and joints in your shoulders, spine, hips, knees, etc. in the correct position. This can:
- Reduce wear-and-tear of cartilage, bone, and other vital joint tissue
- Help your muscles move more efficiently with less energy drain and fatigue
- Decrease strain on the fibrous tissue structures (ligaments) that preserve joint integrity
Proper posture also helps reduce the pain and discomfort associated with arthritis, degenerative disc disease, and other chronic pain conditions.
Common habits that affect posture
It’s easy to fall into habits that can have negative effects on your posture, including:
- Sleeping or reading while on your stomach, which causes significant misalignment of the spine
- Standing for prolonged periods with your hip cocked and your weight on one leg
- Sitting hunched or slumped on the couch or at your desk
- Lifting objects by bending over at the waist rather than bending at the knees and hips
- Sitting in one position for prolonged periods
- Standing at a counter or desk for long periods with your shoulders hunched and head thrust forward
- Looking down at a smartphone for extended periods of time.
These and numerous other daily habits can throw your back, neck, hips, and knees out of alignment and lead to chronic pain as nerves, ligaments, and muscles in your shoulders, back, hips, and legs react to the strain.
Recovering from sports injuries and other trauma can also create ongoing postural issues as you fall into the habit of favoring the injured area while it heals.
Relieving chronic pain and learning new habits
As part of his commitment to comprehensive pain management, Dr. Michels develops treatment strategies designed to relieve your symptoms and address the underlying cause of your discomfort.
To combat pain, he may recommend:
- Oral anti-inflammatory medications to reduce discomfort and swelling
- Injections to relieve knee, hip, or shoulder pain and improve joint health
- Facet joint injections for back and/or neck pain
- Epidural steroid injections to soothe irritated nerves
- Physical therapy to relieve discomfort related to muscular/tendon/ligamentous strain
- Spinal cord stimulation or nerve blocks to block pain signals
Once your pain is under control, Dr. Michels may also recommend:
- Ongoing physical therapy to increase strength and flexibility
- Guided training designed to reinforce good posture at work or home and during sports
- Yoga and other activities that encourage appropriate posture
Regardless of your condition, Dr. Michels is personally and professionally committed to restoring your mobility as he helps you overcome the daily challenges associated with chronic pain.
Schedule a visit with Dr. Michels today for relief from your discomfort and ongoing support in achieving or resuming the active life you crave.