Back Problems for Tall People – An Informational Guide

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Back pain is one of the most common complaints from tall people. 

Do taller people tend to have more back problems because of their height? Almost every tall person would like the answer to this question, due to the constant struggle with back pain in their daily life. 

Research reveals that taller people have a 1.5 times higher chance of experiencing back problems. This is because they have a greater tendency to slouch, which results in the overstretching of back ligaments, and causes muscle aches. This article will discuss back problems for tall people, their causes, and multiple ways to deal with the prevailing back pain.

What Causes Back Pain in Tall People?

back problems for tall people

While the back of your body is typically quite strong, many factors can cause painful weak spots, especially for tall people. There are several causes behind constant back problems in tall adults.

Due to the complicated nature of back pain, it’s always better to consult a doctor to diagnose the problem. Self-diagnosis is difficult to do. However, here are some of the core reasons leading to general back problems in tall people:

An Ill-proportioned Torso

The proportions of your body’s parts can greatly impact the back, causing various aches and pains. 

Everyone has the same number of moveable segments in their spinal cord, whether you’re five feet tall or six feet tall. However, the size of these might differ from individual to individual, with taller people having relatively larger-sized vertebrae. 

Although their vertebrae may have a larger size, they don’t necessarily have a proportional increase in width. Because of this, it makes it difficult for core muscles to fight off the effect of long levers and limbs, and causes back problems.

Distorted Posture

black man with back problem

Another issue that tall people face is a distorted posture. This tends to cause a lot of pain in the back muscles. Postural dysfunctions and muscle imbalances are very common problems tall people face with their backs. 

They say that the world was designed for short people. Cars, chairs, seats, sofas, entrances, doors, you name it – they’re all designed for people with average heights.

Because of this, tall people tend to hunch over their computers or find themselves seated in an uncomfortable position for long hours. This usually happens when they sit on chairs that aren’t designed for their height, and don’t allow them to stretch their legs and relax comfortably, leading to a dysfunctional body posture.

It’s important to maintain a correct posture while performing any activity. As a tall person, you should ensure that your work, seating, and driving spaces are all customized based on your height to avoid slouching and straining muscles. 

Weight of the Body

big man with back problem

Weight is another common cause of back problems in humans. This one is not limited to only tall people. Even someone with an average height but extra fat will feel more pressure on his or her spine.

The weight pushes your normal center of gravity forward and pulls it away from your spinal cord. This results in excess lower back pain and body aches. For example, all women gain weight during pregnancy and suffer from lower back pain because of it.

The case is similar for tall people.

The Dangers of Back Problems for Tall People

The back plays a major role in how the body functions. If left untreated, back pain can be seriously dangerous for tall people. 

When your posture is distorted, your body begins to rely on different muscles and musculoskeletal tissues for support. Your muscles need to put in more effort towards supporting your posture which can cause other issues down the line.

For this reason, tall people are known to have less strength over time. Furthermore, the more you rely on your tendons and muscles, the more likely you are to strain your back. It can also lead to arthritis and disk injuries in the long run.

Below, we’ll share some ways you can avoid these problems and increase your strength over time. 

Ways to Provide Back Pain Relief for Tall People

checking up back problem

Back problems are common for tall people, but that doesn’t mean they have to deal with them for the rest of their lives.

Fortunately, several expert-recommended solutions help relieve upper and lower back pain. These range from neutral posture techniques, exercises, and recreational activities to ergonomic adaptations, as described below:

Spine Stabilizing Workouts

To stabilize your spine and maintain a neutral posture, it’s important to develop muscle endurance and control. Taller people can do this by carrying out exercises that target endurance and control abilities. These include:

  • The Cat-camel
  • Curl-up
  • Side Bridge
  • Bird Dog

These exercises attempt to increase the flexibility of the spine and improve the spine viscosity. However, you should consult a medical professional before practicing these workouts: depending on the cause, it might do more harm than good to your back problems.

Recreational Activities

man doing yoga
  • Yoga: Yoga is a great way to improve the strength of the body, especially for tall people with back problems. However, you need to be very cautious regarding the flexibility of muscles. Don’t over-stretch or sprain them.
  • Swimming: Even though swimming involves the twisting and lengthening of the spine, it is best to go for a swim snorkel, as this allows for your body to go against the air pressure. This further assists in maintaining a neutral posture, in alignment with the length of the spine. Swimming also boosts your cardiovascular health, in addition to relieving back pain. This happens due to a hypoalgesic effect, in which pain reduces as endorphins are released inside the body.
  • Walking: Walking can also contribute to your good cardiovascular health, though not as much as cycling and swimming. Taller people can implement walking in their daily lifestyle by taking the stairs, a walk in the park, etc., as well as keeping track of their daily steps with a digital monitoring app.

Ergonomic Adaptations

tall man seating in a ergonomic chair

Lower back pain is seen as the most common type of back problem for tall people. Any guesses why? It’s due to the standardized manufacturing of products that generally cater to the needs of people who are mostly 6 feet tall and under.

This leads to ill-fitting goods and poor ergonomic conditions for tall people in their homes, cars, workplaces, and so on. 

If your job requires you to sit in a workspace too small for your height, you’re sure to experience back pain. To avoid this, you can make changes to your workspace to accommodate your tall height.

For example, elevating your monitor screen to look straight and getting an office chair with taller seat heights specifically created for people who are over 6 feet tall will help alleviate back pain. You’ll notice that when you carry out the personalization of equipment according to your needs, it’ll significantly reduce your pain.

Similarly, tall drivers should set up the driving compartment of their car to meet their desired comfort level. If taller drivers have to drive for a long time, they should acknowledge that maintaining a neutral spine posture is crucial to avoid lower back pain. Several products are designed just for this, and they can be used to support the lower back. 

Posture Optimization Equipment

Ill-proportioned torsos can cause unimaginable damage to your spine, if not treated properly. You might find the simplest of jobs painful if your tall height requires you to lean in for extended periods.

We already know that hunching has a long-lasting negative impact on the back muscles. So you should always try to avoid or at least reduce it daily.

You can easily do this by getting products that are specifically designed for taller people. Buy yourself the best equipment, like long-handle trimmers for trimming grass edges or a long-handle stroller to walk your kids.

Bottom Line

In a nutshell, there might be several reasons that contribute to causing back pain in tall people. You should always take these issues seriously, and get help from experts before it becomes too late to recover.

The best thing to do is to maintain a correct posture and avoid unnecessary hunching. Simple steps like these can greatly improve the quality of life and curb some of the back problems for tall people.

Although you can’t change your height, you can certainly make your life easier by incorporating the remedies discussed above. Stand tall and flaunt your height – but do it comfortably, without the back problems.