I am new to this website and I came across it while in search of online medical advice. I am 16 years old and unfortunately, my family has recently endured divorce, losses, foreclosure, and death. Needless to say, I wish to avoid further stress for my family by seeking advice elsewhere and I would prefer to find a less than expensive solution. Currently, I am suffering discomfort and (mainly upper) back pain. I have flat feet which I have been wearing orthodics to correct. Although it is not confirmed, I believe my hips are rotated. I am wondering if my symptoms have any connection to one another, and how I could go about fixing them. I am really frustrated because I just typed out a very detailed explanation of my medical history and concerns, and when I went to click post it all disappeared. I need to make this quick as I have finals to study for. However, I have no problem posting further medical background later in order to assist in determining my problem. I would REALLY appreciate any feedback at all because as of now, I don't have much to go off of. Like I mentioned before, money is tight so less expensive solutions are better for now and I wish to seek help on my own for the sake of my loved ones. I am not trying to make you all feel bad, but only explain my current circumstances. I will be on later to post more helpful facts. Thank you!!!
Welcome to the board. Sorry no one responded to your post sooner. I usually hang out on the Back board, but happened to see your post...and yes, I think you are on to something. Posture, structural alignment, and body mechanics are all very much a part of the overall health of our backs.
There are so many different professions that deal with postural defects and their effects on the human body, and various practioners that work to correct these issues. These can range from the medical, like physical therapists, chiropractors, osteopaths, and medical doctors to those engaged in more "alternative medicine" type things like kinesiology, Reiki, and various types of movement therapy, acupuncture, etc.
Many of these practioners believe that our posture begins with our feet...that a proper foundation is a must in order to prevent the wear and tear on the spine that develops as we age. For example, a simple foot pronation often results in a person rotating knees inward, carrying one hip higher than the other, a rotated or tilted pelvis, and carrying the head too far forward.
It is important if you are wearing orthotics to be sure they are properly fitted to you, and not some cheaper substitute. Perhaps you have a coach or phy. ed. teacher who could evaluate your posture and give you some basic pointers.
Here is a simple exercise you can do to help align your spine.
Lie flat on the floor with your body in straight alignment. Bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor. Put your arms close to your sides, with palms facing up toward the ceiling. Arrange your head so that your chin is just very slightly tucked and you have as much of the back of your neck on the floor as possible. Now, relax and take long, slow breaths from the belly, so that your stomach rises up and falls back down.
This position should be comfortable and you should stay in it for at least several minutes, and longer if it is comfortable. I usually do it this way for about 5 minutes, then I keep my body in the same position, but I'll move my arms enough that I can hold a book and I'll stay this way while I read.
This position is a natural form of traction. It allows the discs to unload and allows the back to get out of the force of gravity for a little while. This allows the muscles and soft tissue to relax and destress...and if you are compensating for any structural misalignment, it will allow muscles to relax and stop guarding for a few minutes.
You can find all kind of resources on the internet. One book I recommend is 7 Steps to a Pain-Free Life: How to Rapidly Relieve Back and Neck Pain [Paperback] by Robin McKenzie. He is a well-known physical therapist who devised a system of treatments that are used by PTs all around the world. You may find that doing some simple exercises to improve your posture and to strengthen your back and core will help a great deal with whatever pain you are feeling.
Also, most of us carry stress in our shoulders. With everything you have been through recently, it may be stress that is causing your back pain.
Hope something I've said will be of use to you, and that you will be able to feel better soon.