Are you struggling with chronic back pain? You’re not alone – poor posture is the leading cause of it. But there are easy ways to make corrections and find relief.
In this article, you’ll learn simple steps for reducing your back pain and making lasting improvements in your posture.
Benefits of Good Posture
Good posture helps to keep the bones and joints in proper alignment so that our muscles are used correctly. It may also prevent fatigue, back pain, muscular pain, joint stress and tension headaches. Not only does having good posture improve physical health but it can help with maintaining mental health as well. Thankfully, there are resources available to help us improve our posture, such as stretchybar.com. Good posture helps people feel taller and more confident.
Given the many benefits of good posture, it is amazing how much time we spend sitting hunched over computers, phones or laptops with our shoulders slumped forward in a rounded position for long periods of time. To make sure your posture remains strong even when your job involves sitting at a desk all day, there are a few key tips you can follow:
- Sit up straight and keep your spine neutral.
- Position your computer monitor at eye level so you are not looking down or straining upwards to see the screen.
- Take frequent breaks from sitting by standing up and doing some stretches or light exercises such as walking around the office once every hour or two.
- Stand up correctly by contracting your abdominal muscles and rolling shoulders back slightly.
- Incorporate core exercises into your everyday routine for improved postural health.
Simple Exercises to Improve Posture
It is an important part of back pain management. Poor posture can put your spine in an awkward position, leading to aches and soreness throughout your body. Fortunately, there are some simple exercises that you can do at home or in the office to correct your posture and relieve your back pain.
To start with, take a moment to assess it. Sit up straight with both feet flat on the floor and make sure the arch of your lower back is supported. Check your head placement — it should be level with the rest of your body and not tilted excessively forward or backward. Take a look at how you’re sitting: are you slouching? Make sure to sit up nice and tall, keeping a slight curve in the lower part of your spine for support.
Once you’re comfortable, try these four exercises for improved postural support:
- Knees Up: Raise both knees towards chest while keeping feet on the ground – this helps to relax the pelvic muscles and open chest cavity ensuring upper body mobility
- Upper Spine Stretch: Place hands behind head then alternately raise one elbow then another – this will help break up tension along upper spine while promoting flexibility
- Shoulder Blade Squeezes: Squeeze shoulder blades together as if trying to create a ‘V’ shape – this encourages proper positioning of arms while also engaging upper back muscles
- Neck Roll: Lower chin towards chest then roll neck around clockwise six times then anti-clockwise similar number – this helps restore range of motion in neck and releases tension along vertebrae
Correcting posture is key to alleviating and preventing back pain. Good posture helps reduce stress and strain on your spine, resulting in pain-free movement and improved physical performance. Posture correction can be achieved both at home and in the workplace with certain tools.
At home, an ergonomic stability ball can be a great tool for improving posture. The ball encourages you to keep your back straight as you sit and use core muscles to stay balanced, which strengthens the important postural muscles that support the spine. Stability balls are also versatile – they can be used for other exercises such as stretching or as part of a daily exercise routine to build strength and improve flexibility around the hips and spine.
To make it easier to maintain good posture while working, a standing desk setup can be helpful for preventing lower back pain from long hours of sitting. Standing desks are adjustable furniture pieces that allow users to alternate between sitting and standing throughout their work day. Another helpful item is a lumbar pillow which reduces pressure on the lower spine by providing support where it’s needed most. These pillows help provide stability while sitting at an office chair by filling in the natural curve of your lower back, allowing your body to stay well-aligned throughout the day.
Posture-Correcting Habits to Integrate into Your Daily Life
It is essential for preventing and relieving back pain but it can often be hard to maintain. That’s why it’s important to make a few easy changes in your life that will help you to create better habits. Even simple adjustments like sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the floor or sleeping on your back can make a difference. Here are some posture-correcting habits to integrate into your daily life:
- Take breaks from sitting down every 30 minutes and stretch or go for a short walk
- Change the angle of your computer monitor and chair so the top of the monitor is slightly below eye level
- Make sure you have sufficient lumbar support while sitting, either through an ergonomic chair, rolled up towel, or cushion
- Check your posture when driving as slouching forward can cause aches
- Use hot compresses & heat patches on tense muscles- e.g heat wraps/heat pens
- Place pillows between your knees if you are in side-lying position when sleeping at night; place pillow under lower back if lying on stomach
- Avoid carrying heavy objects as much as possible – opt for lighter substitutes instead
- Focus on engaging & strengthening core muscles by focusing more time on Pilates, yoga & swimming over gym exercises such as leg press & power lifting which put more stress on the spine.
In order to improve your posture and reduce back pain, it is important to speak with a qualified healthcare provider. They can assess your condition and provide you with an individualized plan to help improve your posture and be proactive in taking charge of any chronic issues. Adjusting the environment around you — such as how you perform certain tasks or how furniture is arranged — can also be helpful.