If you are among the millions of Americans who suffers from back pain, you know firsthand exactly how debilitating even a slight injury can be when it means the difference between sitting out versus participating in the physical activities required of you on a daily basis or your favorite hobbies. Luckily, taking the time and effort to ensure that you have proper posture can go a long way in preventing the occurrence and severity of back injuries. Luckily, we have compiled the following information and good posture tips to ensure that you remain walking tall and free from back pain.
Keep Back Pain at Bay with Good Posture Tips
Understanding Good Posture
The foundational element of your back—the spine—is made up of a series of thirty-three vertebrae stacked together and separated by cushiony structures known at your spinal discs. In addition to the health benefits that will be clearly evident as you read the rest of this article, good posture is also good for one’s vanity, with experts alleging that the practice can help make individuals look taller and up to ten pounds thinner.
“Bad posture” is how we refer to any type of stance, either while standing, walking or sitting, that contributes to a misalignment in the spine or other parts of the skeletal system. Over time, this bad posture can contribute to back pain and tension headaches. When certain muscles become strained, undue stress is put on the spine. Over time, this leads to very real issues with discs, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, and joints, all of which adds up to a major contributor to what seems to be a back pain and headache epidemic in the United States.
One of the tips for back pain we give to people who have fairly mild cases is to check their posture. To determine whether your posture is correct, follow these steps:
- Standing with your heels about six inches from a wall, place the back of your head, your shoulders and your buttocks against the wall.
- Using your hands, check to see how much space there is between your lower back and the wall, as well as between your neck and the wall.
- Ideally, there will be approximately two inches in those spaces. If so, congratulations! You have good posture. If there is no space or the space is exceptionally small, you are hunching Alternatively, if the space is too large, is a sign of an overly curved spine, which is also an issue.
Other red flags of incorrect posture include hunched shoulders, forward carriage of the head, a hunched back, a tilted pelvis and flat feet. If you have any of these tall tale signs, check out the following steps to improve your posture. If you are not confident in your ability to do this on your own, or if you do not notice any improvement over time, contact a professional health practitioner who can help you be sure that you are following an appropriate regimen and who can give you tailored back pain tips or posture tips.
Exercises and Stretches for Good Posture
One of our favorite good posture tips is to engage strategically in certain stretches and physical activities. Exercises like yoga and pilates are tremendous for their ability to help encourage proper posture. When exercising to improve posture, you will want to be sure that your core muscles get a workout to help you maintain optimal stability.
Good Posture When Sitting at Your Desk
The realities of the modern workplace mean that many of us are resigned to working long hours at a desk, usually in front of a computer. Unfortunately, this is a significant contributor to hunching over and bad posture. No post about back pain should realistically be without these good posture tips.
To start, your office chair should be the correct height, meaning that both feet will rest flat on the floor. The armrests should be adjusted so that your shoulders are relaxed when your arms are resting on them. Perhaps most importantly, the chair should gently support the natural curve of your spine.
Your computer monitor needs to be about an arm’s length away from you, at or slightly below eye level so as to encourage good posture. In addition to upper back pain, having the computer monitor placed incorrectly is a huge contributor to tension headaches.
If you talk on the telephone a lot, especially if you talk while typing, resist the urge to rest the phone in between your tilted head and your shoulder. To ensure that your hands are still free for you to work on your computer or attend to other tasks while on the phone, using the speakerphone function is probably one of the easiest good posture tips in our arsenal. Or a pair of headphones can do the trick if you are in a quiet area.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact us to set up a consultation and begin living a pain-free life!