Your posture reveals more than you think about your emotional state and health. Do you perceive a confident person in your mind as someone who is slouching, tilting his head, or otherwise not standing straight? Over time, bad posture can lead to several health issues in your spine and nerves. Good standing and sitting posture are critical to maintaining the proper shape of your spine as you age. Still, it can be difficult to maintain perfect posture every minute of the day, especially if your job has you sitting in a chair eight hours a day. Sometimes back braces can help.
There are several things you can do to improve your posture, but first, take a moment to evaluate your natural standing posture and see how far off you are from a “good” posture.
To assess your posture, wear form-fitting clothing. Standing barefoot, stand straight in a manner that feels comfortable to you. Don’t try too hard to force your body into what you think is a perfect standing posture. It may help you to march in place for a few seconds to loosen up and allow your feet to place themselves naturally. If possible, have a friend take a photo of your posture from the front, the back, and side so you can study it later.
What you’re looking for is stacked joints. Your ears should be over your shoulders, while your ribs should be over your hips and your hips over your heels. Your spine has a natural S curve must be maintained. Sometimes exercise can help strengthen you back muscles and laid to better posture.
There are a number of alignments that are bad for your back, but are frequently found in people of all ages who do not practice proper posture. These include sway back, forward head, rounded shoulders, elevated/ uneven shoulders, pigeon toes, and duck feet, among others. If you discover that your current alignment resembles any of these, you are now aware that this is not how your spine should look, and can work toward straightening up.
Whether you’re standing, sitting, or driving, it’s important to be aware of your posture. Not only does good posture make it seem like you are self-confident, it actually improves your mood. Studies have found that constant slouching not only damages your spine, it arouses feelings of depression. Consistent good posture makes it less likely you will develop a hunchback as you age and minimize back pain and the risk of developing the spine conditions that lead to chronic back pain.
When you stand, be sure to do the following:
One activity that can help is to stand with your head against a wall with your shoulders and upper posterior touching the wall. Practicing this position will help your body “learn” good posture. Eventually, not being in this position will seem strange.
While you walk, it’s important to keep your head up and look straight ahead. Be conscious about the position of your head, as tilting it too far forward can result in “forward head” alignment, one of the many poor spine alignments. Remember to keep your ears over your shoulders.
When you drive, keep your back firmly pressed against the seat for proper back support. If you are driving longer distances, it may help to keep a small pillow near the lumbar region (lower back) for support. Make sure you are not leaning forward or reaching for the steering wheel, but are properly distanced from it. The headset should support the middle of your head and if possible you should tilt it so that it is never more than 4 inches away from that part of your head.
At Garden State Pain Control, our goal is to help you overcome discomfort. If you are feeling pain in your back that has persisted for several weeks, it may be a sign of chronic pain. We can work with you to try to alleviate or eliminate the pain altogether. Visit one of our convenient New Jersey pain management treatment clinics to get on the path to wellness.
Auto accidents can also have a significant impact on your posture, causing injuries to your spine and nerves that can lead to chronic pain and poor posture. If you have been involved in an auto accident, it's essential to seek medical attention right away to assess any damage to your spine and take necessary steps to manage any pain or discomfort. Additionally, physical therapy and chiropractic care can be helpful in restoring your posture and preventing future pain or spinal issues. Remember, taking care of your posture now can help prevent chronic back pain and improve your overall health and well-being in the long run.