Did you know that poor posture can contribute to back pain? If you experience chronic back pain, improving your posture could be one way to help manage it. However, ditching old posture habits is challenging in many cases. Here are some quick tips to help you improve your posture to reduce back pain.
Get a Refresher on Good Posture
Not all of us know the foundations of good posture and how we should practice it. There are two main types of posture to know: sitting posture and standing posture.
When sitting, you should sit up with your back straight and shoulders back. Elements of your head should be parallel to your body. For instance, your ears should align with your collar bones, and your chin should stay parallel to your feet. Keep your arms at a comfortable angle in front of you, and place your forearms on a desk or armrest.
When standing, keep your feet flat on the ground and parallel with your shoulders. You’ll also want to keep your chin parallel to your feet while standing. Relax your arms while you keep your back straight.
Follow Posture-Specific Exercises
There are several exercises you can practice to improve your posture and alleviate back pain. Bridges can help you strengthen the muscles around your abdomen, which lessens pressure and stress in your lower back. Planks also help accomplish this by strengthening your core and shoulder muscles. There are also stretches and yoga poses that you can use to improve your balance, coordination, and posture. These include hip flexor stretches as well as mountain and child yoga poses. If you find that basic posture exercises like these don’t help reduce your pain, this could be a sign to see a back pain specialist.
Practice Good Posture Habits Throughout the Day
Improving your posture is something that you have to remind yourself of throughout the day. We often catch ourselves in bad posture habits and don’t do anything to fix them out of comfort. Instead of reacting to poor posture, practice these daily posture habits. Shifting your sitting positions frequently can help prevent you from falling back into bad posture habits. Additionally, remember to avoid crossing your feet or ankles while sitting. Standing up from your desk or couch and taking short walks can also help remind you to correct your posture.
Old posture habits can take a long time to break. However, if you practice these tips to improve your posture every day, you can slowly start to improve your balance and coordination and reduce back pain.