6 Tweaks For Posture & See What Happens To Back Pain
Your Guide for Getting Rid of Pain With Super-Easy Posture-Tweaking Moves
Make these 6 simple tweaks to your posture and watch what happens to back pain
A lot of us have aches and pains that have become so much a part of our daily lives that weâ€™ve learned to live with them (if not accept them). The problem is that all these small aches and pains, such as lower back and neck issues, are derived from posture mistakes.
Weâ€™re NOT pointing any fingers here; we all make posture mistakes on a daily basis without even realizing it. Sure, an Epsom Salt Bath Soak might clear up the problem temporarily, but if you keep on making the same posture mistake, guess whoâ€™ll be knocking on your door again soon?
In this post, weâ€™ll be highlighting some common posture mistakes, and then weâ€™ll be giving you tips on how to fix those mistakes. Weâ€™ll even throw in some advice on how to posture-check yourself, just to help keep you on the right track. All of our recommendations take 30 seconds or less, and weâ€™re kind of sure that youâ€™ll find them as useful as we do.
6 Common Posture Problems (& How To Fix Them!)
1. Not Sitting Up in a Chair
Most of us slouch in our chairs, which is why most of us experience some form of lower back pain during one stage or another of our lives.
How to Fix It
Make sure you sit up properly in your chair. Make sure you do exercises that strengthen the back and core muscles, which will further support your posture while sitting in a chair.
2. Standing With Your Butt Outwards
People that have a pronounced curve in their lower backs and folks that tend to stand with their bottom stuck out may develop (or already suffer from) hyper-lordosis.
This posture problem looks like a classic picture of Donald Duck. Conditions such as pregnancy and carrying too much belly fat exacerbate this problem.
How to Fix It
Make sure you do thigh stretches and hip flexor exercises â€“ you can also do some core training, as well as exercises that strengthen the buttocks.
Itâ€™s crucial that you learn to stand upright, almost as if having a string tied to your head which pulls you upward. This will help get rid of your back pain.
3. Having Your Back Flat While Standing
Folks that tuck their pelvises in and straighten out their lower backs (instead of having a naturally curved posture) tend to stoop forward while standing.
This increases their chances of developing back pains that extend all the way from their upper to their lower backs. Theyâ€™ll also have a hard time standing around for extended periods of time.
How to Fix It
Core strengthening exercises along with those that focus on strengthening the buttocks, neck, back, and shoulder muscles should be done to help correct this very common posture problem.
4. Leaning on the Right or Left Leg
While it might feel super comfy, leaning on either one of your legs while standing is a habit that could be causing you a lot of pain.
Thatâ€™s because instead of using your buttocks or core muscle groups to keep you up, youâ€™re relying on your hip and your lower back, and putting too much strain on this area causes pain.
How to Fix It
The best way to fix this common problem is to focus on the idea of distributing your weight on both of your legs as you stand. You can try exercises such as bridges and plank poses to help strengthen your muscles and get rid of any posture-related pains which you may be experiencing.
5. The Common Hunchback
Most of us know this posture problem as â€œthe phone pose.â€ Itâ€™s the pose we all seem to adopt when weâ€™re glued to our smartphones, putting a strain on our necks and backs while we check whatâ€™s new.
This leads to problems such as a rounded upper back, causing severe pain in the upper back and the shoulders.
How to Fix It
Make sure youâ€™re doing a lot of exercises thatâ€™ll strengthen your shoulders, neck, and, of course, your upper back.
6. The Chin-Out Pose
Another name for this posture problem is the â€œPC screen stare.â€ Youâ€™ve all seen it, heck you may even be doing it right this moment! Weâ€™re talking about the people who sit too low beneath their PC screens and stick their chins out to compensate.
How to Fix It
Your sitting habits will have to be addressed and corrected if you want to get rid of the back pain that comes paired with the chin-out posture problem. Make sure youâ€™re adjusting your seat height, and focus on keeping your head straight and upright while using the computer.
In our modern world, itâ€™s pretty hard not to fall victim to one of these common posture pitfalls and the pain associated with them. The good news is that now you know what these common mistakes are, and how they can quickly and easily be corrected.
We hope that this post has been helpful in guiding you through the process of alleviating the pains that derive from poor posture, and that youâ€™re a little more aware of where, why, and how to avoid these innocent yet painful mistakes.
Tips for Improving Posture and Ergonomics
Over time, poor posture may be caused by habits from everyday activities such as sitting in office chairs, staring at the computer, cradling a cell phone, carrying a purse over same shoulder, driving, prolonged standing, caring for small children, or even sleeping.
Read more: Office Chair, Posture, and Driving Ergonomics
Poor posture can easily become second nature, causing and aggravating episodes of back and neck pain and damaging spinal structures. Fortunately, the main factors affecting posture and ergonomics are completely within one’s ability to control and are not difficult to change.
See: How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain
The following guidelines suggest several ways to improve posture and ergonomics, especially for people who work sitting in an office chair for most of the day.
Identify The Warning Signs Of Back Pain Caused by Poor Ergonomics & Posture
Back pain may be the result of poor ergonomics and posture if the back pain is worse at certain times of day or week (such as after a long day of sitting in an office chair in front of a computer, but not during the weekends); pain that starts in the neck and moves downwards into the upper back, lower back, and extremities; pain that goes away after switching positions; sudden back pain that is experienced with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car; and/or back pain that comes and goes for months.
See Good Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain
Keep The Body In Alignment While Sitting & While Standing
When standing, distribute body weight evenly to the front, back, and sides of the feet. While sitting in an office chair, take advantage of the chair’s features. Sit up straight and align the ears, shoulders, and hips in one vertical line. Any prolonged sitting position, even a good one, can be tiring. Shifting forward to the edge of the seat with a straight back can alternate with sitting back against the support of the office chair to ease the work of back muscles.
See Office Chair: How to Reduce Back Pain?
Some people benefit from a naturally balanced posture that is achieved by sitting on a balance ball; in this posture the pelvis is rocked gently forward increasing the lumbar curve which naturally shifts the shoulders back (similar to sitting on the edge of a chair seat).
Also be aware of and avoid unbalanced postures such as crossing legs unevenly while sitting, leaning to one side, hunching the shoulders forward, or tilting the head.
Get Up & Move
As muscles tire, slouching, slumping, and other poor postures become more likely; this in turn puts extra pressure on the neck and back. In order to maintain a relaxed yet supported posture, change positions frequently. One way is to take a break from sitting in an office chair every half hour for two minutes in order to stretch, stand, or walk.
For further reading: Exercise and Back Pain
Use Posture-Friendly Props & Ergonomic Office Chairs When Sitting
Supportive ergonomic “props” can help to take the strain and load off of the spine.Â Ergonomic office chairs or chairs with an adjustable back support can be used at work.
- Footrests, portable lumbar back supports, or even a towel or small pillow can be used while sitting in an office chair, on soft furniture and while driving.
- Using purses, bags, and backpacks that are designed to minimize back strain can also influence good posture.
- Proper corrective eyewear, positioning computer screens to your natural, resting eye position can also help to avoid leaning or straining the neck with the head tilted forward.
Increase Awareness Of Posture & Ergonomics In Everyday Settings
Becoming aware of posture and ergonomics at work, at home, and at play is a vital step towards instilling good posture and ergonomic techniques. This includes making conscious connections between episodes of back pain and specific situations where poor posture or ergonomics may be the root cause of the pain.
Building on the prior page, the following five points highlight important ways to improve posture in the workplace, helping to reduce back and neck pain and stiffness.
Exercise To Help Prevent Injury & Promote Good Posture
Regular exercise such as walking, swimming, or bicycling will help the body stay aerobically conditioned, while specific strengthening exercises will help the muscles surrounding the back to stay strong. These benefits of exercise promote good posture, which will, in turn, further help to condition muscles and prevent injury.
There are also specific exercises that will help maintain good posture. In particular, a balance of core muscle and back muscle strength is essential to help support the upper body and maintain good posture.
Wear Supportive Footwear When Standing
Avoid regularly wearing high-heeled shoes, which can affect the bodyâ€™s center of gravity and induce compensatory alignment of the entire body, thus negatively affecting back support and posture.
When standing for long periods of time, propping a leg up on a foot rest, wearing supportive shoe orthotics, or placing a rubber mat on the floor can improve comfort.
See Walking Shoes for Exercise Walking
Remember Good Posture & Ergonomics When In Motion
Simply walking, lifting heavy materials, holding a telephone, and typing are all moving activities that require attention to ergonomics and posture. It is important to maintain good posture even while moving to avoid injury, walking tall with shoulders back for example.
Back injuries are especially common while twisting and/or lifting and often occur because of awkward movement and control of the upper body weight alone.
See Manual Material Handling to Prevent Back Injury
Create A Ergonomic Physical Environment & Workspace
It does require a small investment of time to personalize the workspace, home, and car, but the payoff will be well worth it. Undue strain will be placed on the structures of the spine unless the office chair, desk, keyboard, and computer screen, etc. are correctly positioned.
It’s much easier and less time consuming to correct everyday ergonomics and minimize back or neck pain than to add doctor visits and corrective therapies for debilitating pain conditions.
See Office Chair: Choosing the Right Ergonomic Office Chair
Avoid Overprotecting Posture
Remember that it is important to maintain an overall relaxed posture. Avoid restricting movements by clenching muscles or adopting an unnatural, stiff posture. For individuals who already have some back or neck pain, it’s a natural tendency to limit movements to avoid provoking increased pain.
However, unless there is a fracture or other serious problem, the structures in the spine are designed for movement and any limitation in motion over a long period of time creates more pain and a downward cycle of less motion and more pain.
See How Poor Posture Causes Neck Pain
The above changes are relatively easy to make and will pay off in terms of a healthier spine and less pain and stiffness over time.
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Aches and pains have become a part of our daily lives that weâ€™ve learned to live with them (if not accept them). The problem is that all these small aches and pains, such as lower back and neck issues, are derived from posture mistakes.Â For Answers to any questions you may have please call Dr. Jimenez atÂ 915-850-0900
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