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How Do I Maintain Good Posture?

Teens standing against a wallIf you have been told your back health might benefit from good posture, it is sometimes hard to know where to start. After all, it is one thing to maintain good posture when you are actively thinking about it, but it can be much more challenging to keep a good posture as you go through your daily activities.

As a chiropractor in the Chesapeake region for more than 20 years, I have helped many patients with their posture. In this article, I will share tips for you to keep a good posture, which will improve both your back and your overall health.

Why is Good Posture Important?

Posture, or how you hold your body, is an important component of good health, especially with regards to the musculoskeletal system. Having good posture maintains the natural curves of the spine, helping to avoid problems related to spinal misalignment.

Posture can be divided into dynamic posture, or how you hold your body while you are moving, and static posture, or how you hold your body when you are standing, sitting, or lying down. This article will focus on static posture.

The health impact of poor static posture can include:

  • Misalignments in your musculoskeletal system, especially your back and supporting joints and muscles
  • Making your spine more prone to injury
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders, and back
  • Limited flexibility
  • Poor joint movement
  • Balance problems, which can increase your fall risk
  • Digestion problems
  • Breathing difficulties

What is Good Posture While Sitting?

Good posture when sitting involves multiple factors like:

  • Keeping your feet on the floor with your legs uncrossed and your ankles in front of your knees. If your feet cannot touch the floor, use a footrest.
  • Maintaining a small gap between your knees and the front of your chair
  • Relaxing your shoulders and making sure they are not hunched forward or pulled back
  • Keeping your elbows close to your body and bend at between a 90 and 120 degree angle
  • Supporting your back. If your chair lacks a backrest that supports the natural curve of your lower back, try adjusting the backrest, or use a back pillow.
  • Supporting your thighs and hips. Make sure to sit on a well-padded chair and keep your thighs at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Adjust the height of your chair if your thighs are not parallel to the floor.

It is important to get up every so often while you are sitting. Sitting in one position for too long can make your muscles tense and harm your posture. To avoid this, you should:

  • Frequently change your position while sitting
  • Get up and take regular walks
  • Stretch to help relieve any muscle tension

What is Good Posture While Standing?

Good posture while standing involves factors including:

  • Standing straight and tall
  • Keeping your shoulders back, instead of hunched forward
  • Pulling your stomach in
  • Slightly bending your knees to make sure your legs are not locked
  • Keeping your weight on the balls of your feet
  • Keeping your head straight ahead and level, and not pulled down
  • Hanging your arms down at your sides
  • Keeping your feet shoulder-width apart

What is Good Posture While Lying Down?

Maintaining good posture while lying down involves:

  • Avoiding sleeping on your stomach
  • Using a pillow between your legs if you sleep on your side
  • Putting a pillow under your knees if you sleep on your back

What Are Some Tips For Maintaining Good Posture?

You can make changes leading to better posture by altering some of your routines. These include:

  • Pay attention to your posture during your daily activities: The more mindful you are of your posture, the easier it will be for your body to maintain a good posture.
  • Keep active: Exercise can help your posture, especially if they focus on body awareness like yoga and tai chi. Exercises that strengthen your core muscles in the back, abdomen, and pelvis can help you maintain good posture.
  • Lose any extra weight: Being overweight can strain and weaken your abdominal muscles. In turn, this leads to problems in your pelvis and spine, and may result in low back pain. Poor posture can result from this.
  • Wear low-heeled shoes: Wearing high-heeled shoes changes your balance and gait. In turn, your muscles must work to compensate for balance problems, which can harm your posture.
  • Put your work surfaces at a comfortable height: Make sure your desk, countertop, dinner table, and other commonly used surfaces are at a comfortable height. This will help you keep good posture instead of making you slouch.

Maintaining Good Posture With Precision Spinal Care

As a certified NUCCA chiropractor and spine management physician, I make sure to evaluate the root cause of your condition before coming up with a treatment plan. If your condition is aggravated by having poor posture, or if poor posture threatens to aggravate your condition, I will take this into account.

To accomplish this, during your first visit, I will do a thorough examination of your spine. Afterwards, I will go over my evaluation with you in detail. Together, we will set reasonable expectations and milestones for recovery and further evaluation. We will also put together a treatment plan that meets your care needs. I will reevaluate you to make sure you are meeting your goals.

My experience and expertise in spinal biomechanics allow me to competently and safely address your back issues, including those related to poor posture. I am a trauma and hospital-qualified spine management physician. I have credentials in MRI spine interpretation, spinal biomechanical engineering, and orthopedic testing through the Academy of Chiropractic. I am also a fellow in Spinal Biomechanics and Trauma which is recognized through the SUNY Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine.

If we determine that chiropractic is not the best solution for your needs, I will recommend the type of specialist who is most appropriate for you. I may also recommend other specialists that can be used in conjunction with chiropractic care to help you meet your needs.

We understand that you need to explore all your options when you are trying to treat your pain. At Precision Spinal Care, we are happy to help you determine the best way to address your specific needs and discuss all the options with you and your family.

Call our office at (757) 382-5555 to speak to the doctor or set up a consultation. You can also set up an appointment through our webpage.

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