The way you move, sit, lie down, etc. can majorly impact your pain levels. Studies have shown that many musculoskeletal disorders can develop due to improper body mechanics. This is because your body is naturally aligned; movements that bend that alignment can cause pain. That’s why moving with proper body mechanics can be crucial to your comfort and health.
What are body mechanics?
What exactly does proper body mechanics refer to? This term refers to the way you hold your body. Proper body mechanics can also be described as when your posture, balance and coordination work together. This harmony is important when you aren’t moving, such as while you’re lying down while sleeping, and it’s also vital when you’re moving around.
Unfortunately, small changes in your body’s mechanics (slumped shoulders from too much time on your phone, for instance) can lead to pain. However, by making small changes to your daily routine, you can improve your body mechanics and reduce daily pain.
4 simple tips that can help your body mechanics
If you experience pain on a regular basis, you may have trouble completing basic tasks and chores. Chronic pain can make work like laundry, dishes and making the bed intolerable. You could be making your pain worse by unintentionally straining and misaligning your muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints.
Thankfully, making small changes to your body mechanics can help you avoid increasing your chronic pain. For instance, a study showed that when patients were aware of proper body mechanics, they were able to significantly reduce the severity of their lower back pain.
The following tips are small changes you can make to help keep your body aligned throughout the day and ease pain:
Be aware of your posture.
Your spine’s careful alignment of vertebrae supports your entire body’s weight. It’s important to maintain your spine’s natural alignment when standing, sitting or walking. The top of your shoulders should be in line with your hip joint. In addition, your hips should be level with your knees. When your spine is misaligned, you can be at an increased risk of fatigue, stiffness, decreased mobility, neck pain and lower back pain.
Bend at your hips and knees.
When bending down to pick up an object, it can be tempting to tilt your head down and bend at your back. However, doing so can strain your spinal discs and add pressure to your back, leading to unnecessary discomfort. Instead, you should bend from your hips while keeping your back perpendicular to the floor. At the same time, you should lower yourself to the floor by bending your knees. These tips can help keep your back in a neutral position and limit pain.
Avoid twisting your body while performing tasks.
Twisting your body can seem like the easiest way to multitask around the house, whether it’s picking up objects, cooking or vacuuming. However, twisting can actually cause you pain in the long run. This is because doing so can place your back in awkward, misaligned positions that can strain your back muscles. Instead of twisting, try pivoting with your feet while keeping your back straight.
Keep your devices at eye level.
So many people spend hours per day bent over their phone or tablet that they may think this position displays proper body mechanics. But it doesn’t, and it can lead to daily neck pain. Fortunately, a minor tweak to your posture can help you position your body better when using your mobile devices. The tweak is to focus on keeping your device at about eye level. This helps prevent you from bending your head forward and ending up with a daily pain in the neck.
Alliance PTP is ready to help you find top-notch PT to improve your body mechanics
There are times when simple tips like these may not be enough to improve your body mechanics and ease your pain. It is then that you should seek help from a physical therapist.
At Alliance Physical Therapy Partners, we’re proudly bringing together physical therapy practices across the country to help people get the high-quality PT they need.
Want to see a physical therapist in person? We can put you in touch with an Alliance PTP partner that’s close to you and that can help you address poor body mechanics and chronic pain.
Not keen on in-person PT sessions or not close to an Alliance PTP partner? No worries. We also offer effective and affordable virtual physical therapy through our Agile Virtual Physical Therapy platform.
Contact our team today so we can help you find the most effective physical therapy services for your injury or condition.