According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 8 out of every 10 people complain of back pain at one time or another leading them to seek out pain relief.
Do you have an aching back? If so, you’re not alone by a long shot. Most people turn to the medical profession who will prescribe medications. Some choose all natural relief methods, but above all there is one way to get long term relief from persistent back pain.
The answer? Improve your posture first and foremost. Good posture holds the key to relief of not just back pain but sometimes other common body complaints too.
Good Posture Helps to Improve:
Tingling and numbness in hands
Tingling and numbness in feet
Many people are surprised when they learn that poor posture can impact all these above common health complaints. If you suffer from any of the above listed health problems associated with back pain you too can benefit from learning a bit more about how to first evaluate then improve your posture.
There’s no better time than now to evaluate your own posture and find ways to improve it, after all, May is National Correct Posture Month, so sit up straight and learn more about good posture.
8 Tips for Improving Posture or Maintaining Good Posture
1. Chiropractic Adjustment
The best first step to achieving proper posture is to address the very thing that is causing the problem in the first place, spinal alignment. A chiropractor will be able to diagnose and correct alignment issues in the spine and give you the starting point for achieving perfect posture. These doctors will guide you through the process of better health and wellness through proper alignment.
2. Pelvic tilt
It’s essential to keep your center of gravity over your hips in order to have good posture and support the spine. While standing up find your proper alignment as explained above. Next slightly tilt your pelvic muscles in and up while tucking in your buttocks. This will help to support your spine and proper alignment.
3. Keep abs tight
As you sit, stand, and walk throughout the day keep your abdominal muscles pulled in tight. Sometimes we tend to push them out or let them rest as we become tired during the day. This will put extra pressure on the lower back so keep your abs in tight all day long.
4. Ab exercises
It’s vital to exercise in order to keep a healthy, flexible and strong back. One of the best ways to support your back is with strong abs. Do crunches, planks, sit ups and other exercises that strengthen your abdominal muscles on a regular basis. Be sure to maintain proper neck and head alignment during these exercises in to protect your neck.
5. Alternate positions
During the day it’s important to not only change positions from sitting to standing and back again but also to move around. Take a brief stroll outside during your breaks or if you can’t get outside walk to the restrooms, water cooler, or just around the office a few times to keep moving.
6. Maintain healthy weight
A healthy weight is essential for so many good things in life. When it comes to posture and back pain keeping your weight down is key. You don’t want to have too much belly weight for numerous reasons one being it will put extra, unwanted strain on your lower back so keep your weight down by eating healthy foods and exercising regularly.
After you find your proper alignment remember to relax into it. You don’t want to be stiff and straight. You want to keep your alignment with a relaxed pose. This relaxing in alignment will enable you to have perfect posture and a pain free back.
These tips work no matter what your current posture is or level of health. However, if you’re pregnant you may want to consider the following tips to maintain good posture during this time that challenges the back and spine immensely.
6 Tips for Good Posture During Pregnancy
If you’re pregnant however, this offers your body a new set of challenges when it comes to maintaining good posture. Often the posture women take on during the long nine months of pregnancy can lead to long term posture problems and long term back pain issues.
When you’re pregnant it’s important to follow these tips for good posture:
1. Keep your gravity center over your hips.
You can do this by using the pelvic tilt method and pulling in your buttocks to find and keep this center of gravity.
2. Alternate positions.
Don’t stand or sit for too long of a period of time. If you must stand for longer than is ideal put a foot up on a stool and then switch feet. When sitting use a supportive straight back chair not one that encourages slouching. If needed use a small pillow for supporting the lower back.
3. Bend your knees.
Just as you’re supposed to do during exercises (pregnant or not) keep knees soft and do not lock them.
4. Stand up straight.
Imagine a yardstick running from your hips to your head and out the top of it. Keep this straight posture in all you do and be sure to keep your pelvic tilt.
5. Keep abdominal muscles tight.
Even though you have an extra load on your front end be certain to pull in and tighten your abdominal muscles all day long. This will also help to keep them strong and allow you to ‘bounce back’ into shape after baby arrives.
6. Maintain healthy sleeping postures.
When it comes to sleeping the end term of the pregnancy can be rough. This extra load puts a strain on your back even as you rest. The best way to avoid back pain and maintain good posture when you sleep is to sleep on your side with a small pillow between your knees to keep your spine in alignment for these resting hours.
Whether you’re pregnant or not, good posture can make the difference between feeling bad or feeling really great. Follow these tips for good posture and you’ll find backaches, headaches, and other common aches and pains associated with poor posture disappearing almost overnight.
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