New claims: Posture doesn’t matter… I disagree & here’s why

Some of the current achedemics in the Rehab world are now writing that back pain has nothing to do with posture and Lifting technique… see the article here: ( https://theconversation-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/theconversation.com/amp/having-good-posture-doesnt-prevent-back-pain-and-bad-posture-doesnt-cause-it-183732 ) My perspective from personal lived experience and from helping hundreds of clients with Back pain is much different.

I certainly agree that a healthy body should be able to move through a range of postural positions without issue or injury and that there is more factors that come into play regarding pain such as psychosocial factors.

However, there is some pretty easy evidence that provides the solution with the problem. Back pain is derived in a typical person from either muscle, tendon, ligament, joint or bone injury. From acute or minor injuries and strains to tears, nerve damage and ruptures.

Now to determine the cause is not always simple as there are multiple factors to consider using the biopsychosocial model.

But if we are just speaking about posture, then let’s look at this from the biomechanical perspective.

A joint has an optimal range where joint integrity can be maintained under an increase load. Which is what we might typically call “good posture”. This is better referred to as optimal postural position. As we do understand the muscle strength curve during movements. If someone’s posture is at the end limits of their range of motion and are lifting or completing continual or sustained movement the risk of injury is increased – simply because the muscle supporting the joint is in a weaker position to maintain joint integrity.

The moment an injury occurs is when the force placed on the body exceeds the person’s capacity to maintain structural integrity.

Simple ways to display this is to simply sit on the edge of a chair as if you were going to stand up – put your leg into an internally rotated position and try to activate your glute muscle as if you were going to stand up from sitting . Then put the leg into a neutral position and activate your glute muscle as if you were going to stand up from sitting. Hopefully you will notice how the muscle activate differently and in term the structural integrity of the joints involved in the movement is different. Thus posture changes the way muscles activate and force is managed throughout the body.


Relating back to back pain, if you are able to strengthen in a end range of motion of a joint, this is a more advanced way to improve joint integrity, but advising to a normal person without training that entering these ranges of motion is OK when lifting, might tend to lean on the misleading side of things and potentially end up in more pain or injury.

Back the the achedemics for a second, in their papers the reference various studies, however they are weak in nature, as the evidence provided is based on association not causation.

If you are interested in more information related to some of the biomechanical models of movement and how force is managed, a great detailed book to read is call Anatomy Trains.

If you do have back pain and are interested how you can improve your joint structural integrity reach out and we can see how we might be able to help.

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