October 22, 2018
Backpack Advice Every School Aged Child Needs to Know
We’ve all been told—especially as children—to stop slouching and to stand or sit up straight. As it happens, this is great advice to keep the spine healthy and reduce the risk for a painful low back condition.
A landmark 1981 study calculated the amount of pressure placed on the intervertebral disks in the lower back in various positions. A neutral standing position places about 100 pounds per square inch (lbs/in2) of pressure on the disk in the low back and laying supine (facing up) cuts the pressure dramatically to 25 lbs/in2. On the other hand, when subjects stood leaning forward or sat slouching forward, the pressure placed on the lower back disks jumped as high as 275 lbs/in2. All this added pressure can place the disks at increased risk for injury, which can have a dramatic effect on a patient’s ability to carry out their daily work and life activities.
To maintain and improve one’s posture (either standing or sitting), Harvard Medical School recommendations the following:
What about individuals who already have injured or degenerated lumbar spinal disks? What can they do to sit as pain-free as possible? In a 2018 study, researchers evaluated lumbar disk patients as they sat in various types of chairs and found that a kneeling chair is best for keeping the spine in a neutral posture, reducing the pressure on the disks. Additionally, a study published in 2021 showed that trunk muscle activity increases when patients with chronic back pain slouch forward, which means poor posture isn’t even relaxing.
In addition to providing advice and exercises for improving posture, your doctor of chiropractic can provide treatment to restore normal movement to the lumbar spine to reduce low back pain and disability.