The Southeastern Spine Institute

Granted, you may look better when you stand and sit up straight, but there are more reasons to maintain good posture than just cosmetic. Good posture is vital to your overall well being. Good posture is one of the most effective ways to reduce back and neck pain. While your Charleston spine health professionals can help alleviate your pain once it occurs, you can take daily steps to keep that pain from happening in the first place.

Poor posture puts unnecessary stress and strain on your muscles and spine. Your back actually can become permanently deformed from poor posture. These anatomical changes can lead to a host of complications, ranging from headaches and neck pain to constricted nerves and blood vessels, fatigue and even trouble breathing.

Good Posture Check-Up

Good posture means that your body is aligned properly. Once you’ve corrected your posture problems when standing, the rest of your movements flow smoothly, leading to good posture in everything you do.

So take time throughout the day for a quick posture check by following these tips from the Charleston spine health doctors at the Southeastern Spine Institute. These ten tips are especially important if you sit at a desk all day:

  1. Ask someone to watch you sit and stand while you work if you aren’t sure about your posture. After observing you, your office buddy can point out when you slouch or bend incorrectly.
  2. Place a small piece of paper on your head while you work at your desk. When it falls off, you’re most likely on your way to the common slouch that plagues many office workers.
  3. Catch yourself when you cradle a telephone between your shoulder and your neck. Many people do this all day long, but it can lead to permanent disfigurement.
  4. Push yourself back in your office chair to take advantage of its lumbar support. Sliding forward in your chair leads to poor posture.
  5. Set a timer so you move every 30 minutes. Shift in your chair — or more preferably, stand up and stretch. Keep the timer going until it becomes your habit to move regularly.
  6. Stand beside a wall with your feet about six to 10 inches out, with your back and head touching the wall. Raise your arms to shoulder height and bend your elbows so your fingers are pointing up. Keeping your arms raised, touch your fingers to the wall. If you have to move your back or if your wrists can’t reach the wall, poor posture is starting to take its toll.
  7. Place a full-length mirror in your office or in your home in a spot that you can’t avoid. Once you’ve identified what good posture looks like, you’ll see when you’re losing it.
  8. Move the seat in your car so that you have to adjust it every time you get in the car. Adjust your seat so that your buttocks and your head touch the back of the seat.
  9. Use visualization techniques to maintain good posture throughout the day. Imagine there’s a string attached to the top of your head that is directly tied to the ceiling.
  10. Identify a color or a picture that will remind you to check your posture every time you see it. Place it conspicuously so that you will be reminded to check your posture regularly.

Positive Charleston spine health relies on your vigilance. Keep trying these various techniques until it becomes second nature to check for good posture all day, every day.