Proper posture is something talked about very frequently by today's health experts. It is said that improving your posture is necessary for a healthy lifestyle, but to what extent is this true? Although improving posture can benefit anyone willing to commit to it, there are certain groups of people who experience the benefits more profoundly; those who experience chronic back pain are one of these groups. Bad posture can be an underlying cause of back & neck pain, and sometimes the solution to your pain can be as simple as improving your posture.
Signs of Bad Posture
How do you know if your posture is not up to par? Aside from experiencing back pain, there are some physically visible warning signs that can point out problems with your posture. Slouching is one of the most noticeable signs. This can include tilting your head forward and arching your back.
Contrarily, your posture can also be too upright. Holding your head behind your body's center of gravity, pushing your shoulders back, and locking your knees are also signs of bad posture.
How to Improve Posture
There are many different methods of improving posture that can benefit those who suffer from bad posture. Here a few helpful tips to get you started on the path towards proper posture. (Note: before attempting anything that feels strenuous to your body, it is best to consult with a doctor to assure that you are not overexerting yourself.)
- General stretching, such as the stretching one would do before a workout, can help loosen up muscles and ligaments and ease some of the tension associated with bad posture.
- Regularly exercising, specifically strength training targeted toward muscles contributing to posture, can help strengthen the muscles and improve posture therefore reducing the pain caused by it.
- Maintaining a healthy weight is essential to proper posture. If your weight is above average, there is excess strain being put on your back and muscles, which can, over time, lead to the development of bad posture habits.
- Sleeping on a firm mattress can help your spine, which is one of the most important parts of the body in terms of posture. Sleeping on your back as opposed to your stomach is also important, as sleeping on the stomach puts unneeded stress on the spine.
- If your typical day includes sitting for long periods of time, make sure you utilize a chair that provides a healthy amount of support for your lower back. Armrests, while not necessary, are helpful in maintaining posture while sitting. Make sure you are sitting back, not slouching forward over your desk.
- When driving, proper posture in your car seat is just as important as it is while sitting in a chair.
Back pain is a problem for a huge part of the population, and while improving your posture is not always a 100 percent effective cure to back pain, it is certainly a step in the right direction and it will undoubtedly benefit you in some way. By following the tips above and being aware of your posture throughout the day, you can combat back pain and be on your way to a healthier life not obstructed by chronic pain.