Good posture is essential to back health and avoiding any number of painful ailments. If you have issues with back pain, a few posture pointers may be all you need to address the pain before it gets any worse. The position of your spine is an essential part of good posture. According to the Cleveland Clinic, “The spine should have three normal curves: cervical, thoracic, and lumbar.” These posture pointers are aimed at demonstrating how you can keep these natural curves in the most common positions for bad posture. At first, these changes may not be comfortable, but over time you will notice your body adapting to the new shape to the point that it’s all that is comfortable for you.
Sitting. Most chairs, unless they’re specifically ergonomically-designed, do not have proper lumbar (low back) support. In addition, many people do not sit properly in a chair in order to encourage good posture. Consider using lumbar rolls or similar supports while you’re sitting in order to ensure the natural curves stay in your spine. Sit down with your rear touching the back of the seat, keep your knees level with or above the level of your hips, and keep the weight evenly in both hips. In addition, it’s important to keep your back straight, chin up and shoulders squared back while sitting and standing.
Sleeping. Flat mattresses are not conducive to healthy posture while you’re sleeping, but good sleep cushions or variable beds can be quite expensive. Instead, find a position that’s comfortable for you, and place cushions between your legs, under your lumbar curve and/or supporting your waist directly above your hips (while side sleeping) in order to keep your spine properly aligned. Make sure to use a pillow or pillows that allow your head to rest comfortably in a straight line from your spine while side sleeping, or that properly supports your cervical curve while sleeping on your back. Sleeping with a slight bend in your knees may help keep your back neutral.
Lifting. Improperly lifting weights is one of the top culprits behind back injuries. Make sure to keep a wide stance, a straight back and bent knees while lifting heavy weights, and keep the load close to your body. Always know the weight of something you’re attempting to lift, and don’t hesitate to get help if it will cause excessive strain to do it yourself.