How to Improve Your Posture and Reduce Your Pain

How to Improve Your Posture and Reduce Your Pain

Your parents may have harassed you about sitting and standing up straight, and you grudgingly complied, at least when they were around. As usual, your parents were right, as bad posture can lead to a wide range of health issues, some of them quite painful.

To avoid uncomfortable issues related to bad posture, Dr. Sachida Manocha and the team here at Interventional Pain Center in Worthington and Newark, Ohio, want to provide you with a few tips that can make a big difference in your musculoskeletal health.

Issues related to a bad posture

To help you appreciate the effects of bad posture, we want to first discuss a few problems that can develop when you slouch while sitting or standing.

First, bad posture when you’re sitting is more harmful than when you’re standing, as this position increases the load on your spinal discs by 40%. This added pressure, over time, can make you more prone to degenerative disc disease, which can lead to herniated discs and the pain associated with them.

Outside of back pain, bad posture can also lead to considerable neck pain. Also called “tech neck,” when you look down at a screen, you can strain the soft, connective tissues in your neck, leading to nagging pain.

While the musculoskeletal issues that can stem from poor posture are somewhat obvious, poor posture can also lead to gastrointestinal issues, such as heartburn and constipation.

The road to a better posture

Now that we better understand the side effects of a bad posture, let’s take a look at some of the simple ways in which you can support your spinal health.

Sit right

When you’re sitting, slide your buttocks all the way to the back of your chair and keep both feet firmly on the floor to balance your hips. With your spine against the back of the chair, arch your back and then release this position by about 15%, which will help achieve a good neutral position.

It’s also important that you keep your shoulders back, to ensure that the muscles in the back and in the front of your chest share an equal workload in supporting your spine.

If, like most people, you inevitably slide down the chair, use a timer to remind you to correct your posture every 30 minutes or so. You won’t always have to do this as the more you practice good sitting posture, the more it will come naturally.

Mind your neck

To avoid tech neck, it’s important that you place your screens so they’re level with your line of sight when your head is looking straight forward.

Stand proud

When you’re standing, you can follow the same tips that we outlined for sitting. Keep your spine in a straight and neutral position, put your shoulders back, and hold your head up. If you stand for long periods, be sure that the ground you’re standing on is well-cushioned and even.

Move around

Even if you practice great posture while sitting or standing, it’s still important to move around. At least every 60 minutes, take a small walk and do some simple stretches, such as touching your toes. You can also roll your shoulders and neck to loosen up any muscles that may have tightened while sitting or standing.

Here again, a timer can be a great tool for reminding you to move every hour.

If you follow these tips, your back and neck will thank you and reward you with better health moving forward.

If you have more questions about improving your posture, book an appointment online or over the phone with Interventional Pain Center today.

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