Posture and Back Pain
- Posted on: Jun 15 2018
Most of us remember having our mother tell us, usually during our high school years, to stand up and quit slouching. Since high school and slouching kind of go together, we didn’t really listen.
Our backs wish we had. Our spine is a miracle worker of stability, but when we stoop or slouch, when we make our muscles and ligaments try to provide support that the spine otherwise would. This can make them strain and cause back pain.
Since we deal with back pain every day at DFW, here are some tips for posture to avoid creating back pain.
The Natural Curves in Your Spine
Your spine has three natural curves built in.
- An inward (think forward) curve at the neck. This is called the cervical curve.
- An outward (backward) curve at the upper back, the thoracic curve.
- An inward curve at the lower back, the lumbar curve.
Good posture maintains these natural curves.
What Is Good Standing Posture?
So, just what does good posture look like? Here’s how you should stand:
- Stand straight with your shoulders comfortably pushed back.
- Your head should be level and in line over your back and chest.
- Pull your abdomen in.
- Feet should be the width of your shoulders.
- Don’t push your knees backward; leave them slightly flexed.
- Your weight should be primarily on the balls of your feet.
You can check your posture with an easy test. Stand against a wall with your head, shoulder blades, and buttocks touching the wall. Have your heels about 2-4 inches away from the wall. Reach back and slide your hand behind the curve in your lower back with your palm flat against the wall. You should have about one hand’s thickness of space between your back and the wall in that spot. If you have more, you need to pull your abdomen in somewhat. If you have less, you need to arch your lower back a bit.
Good Sitting Posture
Here’s how you should sit, especially if you’re a desk jockey.
- Your thighs should be parallel to the floor and your feet flat on the floor.
- Don’t cross your legs. Keep a small gap between the front of your chair and the back of your knees.
- If your chair doesn’t support the lumbar spine, place a rolled up towel or small pillow there.
- Keep your upper back and neck comfortably straight.
- Keep your shoulders relaxed, not rounded or pushed back.
Posted in: Back Pain