We believe that good health starts with good posture. Whether you are sitting, standing or lying down, it is important to maintain a neutral spine. What this means is having your spine in the most ideal position for you to stay well, strong and avoid injury.
If we are not practicing good posture, or getting the care to help improve and maintain posture, we can become prone to injury, accelerated spinal degeneration and further health consequences.
The image below depicts common postures we see as chiropractors. Everything shown right of the ‘Good Posture’ model reflects what we want to help people correct or even become aware of. If you are unsure if you have good posture, it is best to talk with your chiropractor or schedule an appointment for a spinal examination.
While good posture makes you look better on the outside, there are many health benefits you should know about:
- Maintains correct alignment of bones and joints
- Reduces stress on ligaments, minimizing risk of injury
- Prevents muscle strain, overuse and pain
- Conserves energy as muscles are used more efficiently
- Decreases abnormal joint wear
If you have back pain, sometimes that is due to poor posture. Besides sitting or sleeping poorly, there are other factors that can contribute to poor posture:
- Weak postural muscles
- Abnormally tight muscles
- High-heeled shoes
Besides consulting with a chiropractor and receiving spinal alignments, here are a few things you can do to maintain good posture:
- Sit Well
Sitting correctly, especially while using a computer or other electronic device is essential to maintaining a healthy spine. The ergonomics of your workstation should encourage correct posture. Check out our other blog about workstation ergonomics: https://avenidawellness.com/back-often-hurt-work-must-read-post/
- Drink Plenty of Water
Your body needs water to maintain soft tissue elasticity and the fluid in your joints. If you’re dehydrated, you have less fluid in the discs between your joints. A loss of space between vertebrae can cause a bulging disc or rupture. It also leaves you more vulnerable to injuries because of the loss of padding between the bones.
- Get Moving
Whether you lift weights, run or take a daily walk, exercise provides your spine and joints with the movement and stretching necessary to engage in whatever life throws your way. It also helps you maintain a proper weight and this places less pressure on your skeletal system.
- Stretch Daily
Stretching each day helps to maintain proper range-of-motion for your spine and joints. This ultimately reduces the risk of injury.
- Lift Correctly
Whether you’re picking up toys in the living room or lifting a heavy box, be aware of your body position. Bend at the knees and lift with your legs. Remember to keep the whatever you’re carrying as close to your body as possible.
- Sleep Well
If you are a stomach-sleeper, it is best to kick that habit. Sleeping on your stomach puts stress on your back by over-flexing the lumbar spine (lower back). To help correct this, start out the night by sleeping on your side or your back, and if you wake up in the night, switch back to one of those positions. Placing a pillow between your knees while side-sleeping will help keep the twist out of your lower back and prevent you from rolling over.
- Be Aware
Do not ignore warning signs such as back pain or headaches. Your body sends out pain signals for a reason and these could be due to poor posture. The earlier you can catch an injury the easier it is to fix.
Check out the Canadian Chiropractic Association’s “Straighten Up Canada” campaign here: https://www.chiropractic.ca/straighten-up-canada/
You can download free app, so you can always be aware of your spine while on the go!
Don’t forget to call us at 403-271-6611 for all your postural needs!