Posture is an often-overlooked cause of back pain that’s reversible if you make an effort to literally straighten up. If you don’t want to practice balancing a book on your head, spine surgeons in Los Angeles recommend a few easier ways to work on your posture.
1. Align Ears and Shoulders
Leaning down or forward too often forces your spine into an unnatural position. When your ears are aligned with your shoulders, your weight is evenly distributed.
2. Stand Up Straight
You may not realize how many times a day you lean, tilt, or slouch. It may be a cliché, but shoulders back, chin up, chest high, and back straight will instantly improve your posture.
3. Sit Correctly
Keep your feet on the floor and choose a chair that offers sufficient back support if you sit most of the day. A lumbar support pillow can also help keep your back straight.
4. Shoulder Rolls
Shoulder rolls are a simple stretching exercise you can do periodically throughout the day. Do a simple shoulder roll by:
- Taking a slow, deep breath
- Elevating shoulders for 5-10 seconds
- Slowly lowering shoulders and exhaling
- Squeezing shoulder blades together for 5-10 seconds
5. Core Strengthening Exercises
Stronger core muscles make it easier for your spine to absorb occasional bends and twists. Pelvic tilts and knee-to-chest bends are a few simple core exercises suitable for most people.
6. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Excessively high heels can throw your posture off. The same is true of shoes that don’t offer sufficient support when you walk, run, or play sports.
7. Avoid Heavy Bags
Overloaded backpacks, shopping bags, and book bags force your spine out of alignment regardless of your posture.
It takes about 2-3 months before new habits become automatic, so give your efforts to improve posture some time. Health benefits associated with better posture include improved circulation and fewer instances of non-specific low back pain.
If chronic pain is disrupting your daily routine, it might be time to speak with a board-certified spine specialist in Los Angeles. Call The Spine Institute today at (310) 828-7757 and request an in-person consultation. Your path to a pain-free lifestyle begins here.