Just like eating more veggies, maintaining good posture is one of those things most people know is good for them, yet they don’t always do it. Poor posture alone doesn’t usually contribute to sudden or acute back pain. However, it does contribute to increased wear on important spinal parts and puts more stress on spine-supporting muscles, which could lead to severe or persistent pain that requires medical intervention from your doctor or a back specialist, such as a Beverly Hills spine surgeon.
Less Frequent Lower Back Pain (LBP)
Poor posture can affect any part of the spine, but the lower back is usually impacted the most because it’s a more mobile part of the body. Sitting, slouching, or leaning off to one side or the other for long periods at work, in a car, or in your favorite chair at home can also contribute to an assortment of lower back problems, including:
- Overstress injuries
- Spinal disc damage
- Nerve compression
Poor cervical spine (neck) posture could be one of the reasons you’re experiencing tension headaches. If you improve your posture, you may have neck and shoulder muscles that are more flexible and not as tense. Achieve this goal by:
- Keeping your head aligned with your shoulders
- Not slouching as you sit
- Periodically stretching your neck-supporting muscles
- Not leaning forward excessively while using your devices
Constant muscle stress from poor posture can contribute to fatigue, but being mindful of your posture throughout the day could leave you feeling more refreshed. This increased energy can provide an added incentive to be more active and get regular exercise to properly strengthen your spine-supporting muscle groups.
Better Oxygen Intake
Slouching and hunching are some of the poor posture habits that can compress the lungs and minimize the intake of oxygen. Less oxygen intake affects circulation. However, if you embrace better posture habits, your lungs will be able to deliver more oxygenated blood throughout your body and to the various parts of your spine that need the nutrients carried by the blood.
Improved Joint Health
Joint wear and tear naturally occurs with age, but good posture can slow down this degeneration. Weak joints, especially those in the hips and knees, can also affect the way you walk. As you shift your gait to compensate, more stress is placed directly on your spine. In turn, this accelerates the changes that naturally affect your spine’s discs, joints, and vertebrae over time. Instead, avoid overstressing and overloading your spine by:
- Sitting up straight
- Getting regular joint-friendly exercise
- Watching how you lift various things
- Sitting so your feet are comfortably on the ground
It will take some time for good posture to become second nature. In the meantime, there are posture-correcting devices you can use to restore your spine’s natural alignment. Gentle forms of exercise like yoga can also correct posture problems while stimulating muscle groups that support your spine in some way.
Maintaining good posture is one of the best ways to ensure your long-term spinal health and avoid premature wear and tear that could result in the need for advanced medical treatment, such as minimally invasive neck surgery. Beverly Hills residents who are experiencing severe or long-lasting back or neck pain should reach out to the experienced spine specialists at The Spine Institute. We lead the industry in the use of innovative methods to diagnose and treat all forms of spine-related pain. Give us a call today at 310-828-7757 to schedule an appointment.