Do you suffer from back pain? If so, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, more than 80% of adults suffer from lower back pain at some point in their lives. More than just being uncomfortable, back pain can get in the way of your daily life – sometimes to the point that it’s difficult to go to work or complete daily tasks.
Fortunately, back pain can sometimes be resolved by simple changes. In particular, you may find that improving your posture could alleviate some of your back pain.
If you find that your back pain occurs during specific activities or times of the week, goes away when you change position, or accompanied a change in your environment (e.g., a new chair, desk, car, mattress, etc.), then you may find that your posture could be the culprit.
How your posture affects your spine
A healthy spine has three naturally occurring curves: one in the neck, one in the upper back, and one in the lower back. Over time, poor posture such as slouching at a desk, leaning on one leg, or hunching over a phone screen can cause misalignment in these curves, leading to back pain and other problems.
Your muscles can become “trained” to maintain this poor posture, which means that maintaining poor posture can actually feel more comfortable in the short-term. Unfortunately, this can lead to pain and discomfort down the road.
Why you have poor posture
Poor posture is often part of a sedentary lifestyle. Many people spend their days slouched over desks – or over laptops held on their laps. Without proper ergonomic support, these postural habits will eventually cause spinal problems. In addition, lack of exercise can lead to weak core muscles, which will make it more difficult to support proper posture for long periods of time.
How to fix your posture
Fortunately, it’s possible to retrain your body and find the ergonomic supports you need to maintain good posture. Read here for more tips and a video on good posture. Also, there is a new super cool device, UpRight Pose, that you attach to your lower back and it sends messages to your phone in order to train you to sit and stand with good posture. In general, to prevent low back pain, follow the steps below during sitting and standing:
Many people spend large portions of the day sitting at a desk. To maintain good posture while seated, do your best to keep your back straight and your shoulders back. If your chair doesn’t provide lumbar support, consider using a pillow, rolled towel, or other device to maintain the curve of your loser back. Keep your feet flat on the floor and your head aligned over your shoulders. In addition, make sure to take breaks and stand up periodically.
Follow these 5 steps:
- Contract your core
- Extend your back
- Lift your chest
- Put your shoulder blades down
- Lengthen your neck
Walking and Standing
Try to keep your head erect when you’re walking, instead of looking down at the ground (or your smart phone). Do your best to balance your weight over your feet and keep your shoulders relaxed. Make sure to wear low-heeled shoes whenever possible. It is also essential to stand often if you tend to sit for prolonged periods of time. Try to stand every 20-60 minutes and walk around for 5 minutes.
Please contact us to find out more about what we at Telespine can do to help you alleviate your back pain!