May is National Correct Your Posture Month, so we thought we would take the opportunity to explore some tips on achieving better posture. After all, correct posture is vital to your overall health and results in many benefits such as increased energy, reduced back and neck pain, and greater confidence. It can also prevent muscle tension, pain, and fatigue.
The risks only worsen as we age. An extremely hunched posture, also known as hyperkyphosis, affects about two-thirds of senior women and half of senior men, says NIH News in Health. This poor posture is associated with back pain, weakness, and even trouble breathing, all of which can limit everyday activities, such as brushing your hair and getting dressed.
Fortunately, there are many minimally invasive pain management techniques and treatments available to help you address the discomfort caused by poor posture.
Check out these five tips for better posture.
1. Sit Correctly at Your Desk
You may feel like it’s more comfortable to slouch when at your desk, leaning back and swiveling around. Instead, try to sit as far back as you can in your chair. Place a lumbar cushion or small, rolled-up towel behind the middle of your back, which protects your spine’s natural curve. Keep your knees bent at a right angle, at the same height, or slightly higher, than your hips. Keep your feet flat on the floor
2. Avoid “Text Neck”
With so many of us scrolling, calling, researching and texting on our smartphones all day long, it’s important to be mindful of what this is doing to our posture. Every so often, take some time to stretch your neck. Do some neck rolls one way and then the other. Tilting your head down to respond to messages and check Facebook posts takes a toll on your spine even though you may not realize it. Try to lift the phone up to your eyes rather than moving your head.
3. Sit Upright in the Car
It may seem more comfortable to recline in your seat during a long drive, but it’s murder on your posture. Sit more upright whether you’re a driver or passenger. Don’t lock your legs, but rather, bend your knees slightly so they are at hip level or slightly above. Add a small pillow or rolled-up towel behind your back for extra support.
4. Wear Heels Sparingly
While fine for an occasional night out, high heels, pumps and stilettos should be left in the closet as far as your posture is concerned. That’s because they thrust the base of your spine forward, resulting in an over-arched back, altering how your backbone lines up and adds pressure on your nerves. This, in turn, causes back pain. Those high heels are also putting more weight on your knees. Stick with a lower heel or flats for daily wear.
5. Sleep Comfortably
Get rid of the soft, saggy mattress and instead choose a firmer one that is better at holding your spine’s natural shape. If you are a side sleeper, keep your knees slightly bent but avoid hugging them at your chest. Put a pillow under your head, ensuring it remains level with your spine. If you are a back sleeper, don’t use a thick pillow; a small one under your neck should do.
By heeding the above tips, you can be on your way to feeling more physically fit with greater confidence to face each day.
Contact Summit Spine & Joint Centers to Address Pain Caused by Poor Posture
Got back or neck pain due to poor posture? We have non-invasive treatments that can relieve your chronic pain. Just call Summit Spine and Joint Centers today at (770) 962-3642 to schedule your consultation with one of our pain management specialists.