We’ve all been told to sit up straight and not slouch. But that’s not just nagging; those commands are actually good pieces of advice for alleviating back pain.
Tens of millions of Americans experience back pain at any given time. It may be because of an accident or an injury, or a medical condition. But many times, back pain and discomfort is caused or exacerbated by poor posture.
How can you correct your posture and help relieve your back pain?
How to Have Correct Posture
Whether we’re walking, running, or just sitting, we’re putting pressure on our backs. Poor posture increases that stress and can cause muscle and tissue strain that leads to pain.
Having correct posture while you’re walking or sitting can go a long way toward relieving that pain.
When standing or walking, make sure you:
- Stand straight, without slouching
- Keep your stomach in
- Square your shoulders
- Hold your head level
- Keep your arms hanging comfortably by your side
- Keep your knees slightly bent
- Pull your shoulders backward
- Keep your feet shoulder-width apart
Posture also matters when you’re sitting, and if you’re in a desk job, you’ll sit more than you’ll walk in a given day. When sitting, make sure you:
- Use a back support if necessary
- Keep your knees at or below the level of your hips
- Relax your shoulders and upper back
- Keep your feet on the floor
- Sit straight up; don’t lean back or slouch forward
- Don’t cross your leg
- Shift your position every now and then or get up for a stretch
- Have the computer monitor at eye level (use a stand for a laptop if necessary)
- Try to avoid looking straight down at something
If you don’t have correct posture, you’ll put strain on your back muscles. You can sprain tendons in your back as well, or even suffer from back spasms from chronic bad posture.
By following the above tips, you’ll eliminate a lot of what causes back pain and create a healthier overall life for yourself.
Learn more about back health by talking to an orthopedic specialist or scheduling an appointment.