Tips to reduce the effects of poor posture

While at work, you slouch in your chair as you slowly fatigue after a day in the office. When you get home, you want to unwind so you spend a few hours in the garden with your back hunched forward. Or perhaps you prefer to unwind by sitting on the couch and watching your favourite show on television- sound familiar?

You may not feel any ill-effects after sitting with poor posture for a few hours, but over time the stress that poor posture places on your spine can lead to anatomical changes in your spine. This in turn can provoke back pain through the constriction of your blood vessels and nerves. In addition, the stress from poor posture can lead to back pain by causing problems with your muscles, discs, and joints.

We are designed to be able to cope with short periods of poor posture. The problem is that a high percentage of the population are in this posture for long periods, day after day. As a result there is lack of movement in the neck, which can lead to interference of the nerves in this area. The nerve interference is what is sending the pain signal to the brain for you to become consciously aware there is a problem. The muscles of the neck and shoulders have a lack of strength, as a result they become more fatigued and have to work harder to hold the body in a poor posture.

Back pain caused by poor posture may have any of the following characteristics:

    • Back pain that is worse at certain times of the day
    • Pain that starts in your neck and moves down into your upper and lower back
    • Pain that subsides after switching positions while sitting or standing
    • Sudden back pain that coincides with a new job, a new office chair, or a new car seat

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How to maintain good posture:

If poor posture can lead to back pain, it logically follows that good posture can help you avoid back pain. Here’s how to maintain good posture while walking, sitting, and lifting:

Walk tall
It’s easy to forget about your posture when you’re exercising or running errands, but your posture is no less important when you’re walking than when you’re sitting. While walking, it’s important to look straight ahead of you and to keep your head balanced straight above your spine. Additionally, remain tall (avoid drooping your shoulders) while you are walking, and make sure to land on your heel and then gently roll forward to push off the front of your foot.

Sit with support
If you’re like most people, you sit for at least eight hours every day. With so much of your life spent sitting down, it is imperative that you sit with correct posture. One common posture mistake many people make is the “office chair hunch,” where a person sits at the front of their chair and hunches forward to reach their computer screen.

Instead of hunching forward, here is how to sit with proper posture at your office:

  • Keep your back flush against your chair with your shoulders tall and your head level over your spine.
  • When sitting at a desk, keep your arms flexed at a 75 to 90 degree angle at the elbows.
  • Keep your knees level with your hips—or sit with your knees slightly above your hips if seated at a desk.
  • Keep your feet flat on the floor. If you are unable to reach the floor, you can utilize a footrest.
  • Try sitting on a swiss ball. This naturally promotes a more upright posture in order to maintain balance

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Lift carefully
Improper lifting techniques can cause injury to the muscles, joints, and discs in your back. To help you avoid back pain, here are three simple rules for lifting both light and heavy objects:

    • Keep your chest forward. To ensure you keep your back straight while lifting, bend your hips—not your lower back—and keep your chest out.
    • Lead with your hips. When changing directions while lifting, lead with your hips to avoid placing additional strain on your back.
    • Keep weight close to your body. Keep the object you are lifting as close to your body as possible.

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If you have any specific questions regarding your individual situation or you would love further information please contact us here at Global Chiropractic on 54443388 or email info@globalchiropractic.com.au

SPECIAL OFFER: Global Chiropractic is currently offering new clients $180 worth of Chiropractic care for just $49. To get your $49 Chiropractic voucher, simply follow the link below:

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