Preventing Back Problems Through Proper Posture

Preventing Back Problems

Over 95% of adults exhibit poor posture practices through forward head carrying and rounded shoulders. Sooner or later, most are likely to develop physical problems as a result. Postural misalignment is a soft-tissue/ muscle problem, not a bone problem, as is commonly thought. Muscles dictate where bones go and also have the ability to hold the bones in place. So when the spine is out of alignment, muscles must work harder to keep the body functioning, which can in turn, cause overuse, strain, stiffness and pain. Whether back pain problems are a direct result of poor posture or not, (often times they are) back pain sufferers can almost always benefit from polishing up their postural habits. Proper posture is also a terrific way to prevent back problems from occurring in the first place.

During proper posture, the neck should support the head, keeping it aligned with the rest of the spine in balanced posture. Shoulder blades should be level, as should the hips and buttocks. The pelvis should be tilted forward slightly. During proper standing posture, a line dropped from the ear will pass through the shoulder joint, the middle of the hip, just behind the knee and in front of the ankle.

The neck has a slight natural curve, and the lower back, or lumbar area has two curves as well. Proper posture preserves all three curves in their natural state. In fact, when the spine is supported in this fashion, it is self-sufficient, and requires very little help from the surrounding back muscles. That said, it is easy to understand how poor posture can cause muscle strain, soreness and backaches.

Correct posture is important regardless of your body’s position – standing, sitting or lying down. When sitting down, be certain that the three naturally occurring spinal curves are maintained. When lying down, the spine must be kept in proper alignment. It is important to avoid propping the head with an arm or extra pillows. Propping will almost certainly throw your body out of alignment.

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