Improve Posture, Alleviate Back and Neck Pain

The Consequences of Bad Posture

Living with bad posture can lead to all sorts of problems, the prominent of these problems are as follows:

  • Chronic back, neck, and shoulder pain
  • Foot, knee, hip, and back injuries
  • Headaches
  • Stiffness
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome

Most neck pain is the result of irritation or injury. Common causes include:

  • poor sitting posture while at the desk or on the computer, or while reading or driving.
  • Work that stresses neck muscles.
  • Sleeping or resting in awkward positions.
  • Constantly bending your neck upwards or downwards while doing certain tasks.

The Benefits of Proper Posture

Posture is the position of a person’s body against gravity when standing or sitting. Good posture involves training your body to stand, walk, sit and lie in positions where the least strain is placed on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement or weight-bearing activities. Good posture can help decrease the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in arthritis. Once you have improved your posture, your muscles will actually feel less fatigue because they are being used more efficiently. Improved posture will result in optimized back pain and neck pain relief by minimizing and preventing strain and overuse. Additionally, good posture will make you look and feel stronger, more confident, and healthier.

Ways to Improve Posture:

Humans were not sitting as often or for such long periods of time as we are presently. Thus, we don’t all know how to sit properly in order to reduce strain and prevent back pain and neck pain. Everyone’s body proportions are different, and so the correct sitting position is not definite for each person. That being said, there are some general pieces of advice that apply to everyone:

  • Change sitting positions every so often. Avoid sitting in the same position for too long. Generally “too long” is around 30 minutes to an hour.
  • At work, adjust your chair height and work station so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you. Avoid bending your head down to look at anything for an extended period of time.
  • Sit up, with your back straight and your shoulders back with both feet on the floor. Find the posture that is most comfortable for you. Initially, sitting with your back straight will feel strange or difficult, so practicing this posture for short periods of time and slowly increasing those periods of practice is ideal.

Driving, although more active than sitting usually, is still sitting, and we usually don’t think about our posture while doing it.

  • Adjust the seat so that your shoulders are relaxed while reaching the steering wheel. The seat should be close enough to allow your knees to bend and your feet to reach the pedals.
  • When checking blind spots, turn your head gently and be mindful of how sudden your head might jerk when doing so.
  • On long drives, take stops every so often to get up and stretch.

Lifting objects:

There is lots of emphasis on proper lifting technique to prevent back strain and neck pain because of how often it causes these problems and how easily it can be resolved.

  • Use your legs while lifting. You shouldn’t bend your back so that your arms are above the object that you are picking up. You should bend your legs to lower yourself to an object.
  • Keep the object you’re lifting as close to your body as possible.
  • If you must lift large or awkward objects, Ask for help! There is no reason that you should be causing yourself pain that can easily be avoided by getting help from others.

If you’d like more information and other perspectives, find it with some quick research and reading on improving posture!

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