Body posture and syndromes of back pain

Ortop Traumatol Rehabil. 2011 Jan-Feb;13(1):59-71. doi: 10.5604/15093492.933788.
[Article in English, Polish]


Background: The effects of faulty postures include disturbances of the symmetric distribution of compressive and tensile forces acting on both sides of the body axis and the emergence of harmful shear forces. The torques of antigravity muscles also change unfavourably. This may lead to the development of a repetitive strain syndrome, stenosis of intervertebral foramina, compression of nerve roots and back pain. The development of back pain syndromes is significantly affected by the performance of various work-related tasks in non-ergonomic positions. The aim of the study was to investigate the association between back pain syndromes and the quality of body posture, especially in the context of work ergonomics.

Material and methods: The study enrolled 125 persons: 39 adults with a childhood history of scoliosis, 39 midwives, and 47 physiotherapists. Body posture was assessed in all participants. In midwives and physiotherapists, body position during the performance of work-related tasks was also evaluated. The frequency and severity of pain was assessed with the Jackson-Moskowitz measure.

Results: The study revealed that over 80% of the participants suffered from spinal pain. In most cases, the pain was intermittent and was felt in the lumbar spine. The occurrence of pain among midwives and physiotherapists was not directly dependent on the predominant type of abnormal spinal position assumed during the performance of occupational tasks or the quality of body posture. The complaint was also reported by ca. 85% of persons with a history of scoliosis.

Conclusions: An incorrect body posture (especially scoliosis) and performance of work-related tasks in non-ergonomic positions increase the probability of back pain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Back Pain / etiology*
  • Biomechanical Phenomena / physiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Posture*
  • Scoliosis / complications*