A back injury can leave you in serious discomfort, sometimes for much longer than it takes the original injury to heal. More than 30 million Americans cope with chronic back pain, according to research from the American Chiropractic Association. While many of these back pain issues are caused by trauma or injury, a large percentage is caused by something simple; something that you may do unconsciously every day. Having poor posture can lead to serious discomfort in the shoulder, neck and back, and can result in chronic back pain.
Maintaining proper posture at all times promotes optimal spine health. This is something that your orthopedic doctor may discuss with you if you are experiencing pain in your back, shoulder, hips or neck. The simple act of slouching puts undue pressure on parts of the back, and displaces the amount of force that the muscles in the back are responsible for. Straightening your posture can alleviate back pain and restore health to your spine.
Tips for Better Posture
Good posture isn’t something to be concerned about when you are standing for long periods of time and to forget at all other points of the day. Proper posture takes self-training and no small degree of discipline, but once you train yourself, it will become second nature to keep your back straight. This starts when you are sitting or walking. Straighten your shoulders so that they are level, and keep your head straight—don’t tilt or lower it.
Here are a few more tips for improving spine health through better posture:
- Keep your back straight whenever you are lifting anything, especially heavy items.
- Be careful when you are bending down or reaching, and always bend at the knees, not the back!
- Sleep carefully, ideally on your back. Keep a pillow under your knees to alleviate pressure on your spine.
- Use back supports when sitting for an extended period of time, for example—when at your desk at work, or while driving.
If you are experiencing any level of severe back pain, it is essential that you reach out to your Long Island medical center for support. Correcting poor posture can help alleviate some chronic back pain, but it is not a replacement for medical intervention—especially regarding injuries to the back. Before making any changes to your lifestyle, speak with your orthopedic doctor.