According to the Arthritis Disease Center, poor posture is a major contributor to chronic neck and back pain. Posture matters because poor posture can affect your spine, your circulation, and even your breathing.
Posture is automatic. You walk, stand, sit, sleep, and perform any number of activities in the same way, in the same posture. Making sure your posture is in check can prevent back pain in the future.
Start by becoming more mindful of your posture and adjusting accordingly when you find yourself in the following scenarios. These changes will eventually take hold and your spine will thank you.
You likely spend the majority of your day sitting so let’s start there. When sitting, remember to keep your back and shoulders straight and take extra care to not slouch or drag yourself down in your seat. Your knees should be bent at a right angle and your feet should be flat on the floor. Suggestion: Ask your employer about providing ergonomically sound workstations.
Speaking of workstations, standing desks are gaining in popularity. When utilizing these desks or standing in any other scenario, there’s a certain way to do that, too. The American Chiropractic Association lists some tips, which include: allow the balls of your feet to bear the weight of your body, keep your knees slightly bent, and stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward. Suggestion: Practice your standing posture in a full length mirror.
When your day of sitting and standing comes to a close, there is also an ideal posture for sleep. It’s common for there to be a number of pillows in the bedroom, but did you know that the ideal number of pillows is just one? You want your head supported, but also for your neck to be aligned with your spine. If it’s not, you could experience a stiff neck when you wake up. Suggestion: Test out pillows to find a thickness that works with your body.
To live a life free of back pain, start here. Take the first step by practicing proper posture and notice the major difference it makes. If you aren’t feeling any better after giving it a try for some time, book an appointment with your chiropractor for an adjustment and an assessment. They can help figure out if there is an underlying cause to your discomfort, and identify a solution to get you feeling at your best again.