Posture is important for overall spine health, since too much stress and strain can affect spinal discs, contribute to inflammation, and impact your backbone in other potentially painful ways. But it’s also easy to overlook how you’re sitting, standing, or moving as you go about your daily routine. One way to boost posture awareness is to do regular checks to see if there’s anything you may need to adjust. It can be easier to do this if you have a better idea of the everyday places where spinal comfort is crucial. Five of these locations are discussed below.
Even if you don’t normally spend long periods in your car, the position of the seat and seat back can take a toll on your spine. Before your next drive or ride, take a moment to adjust your seat to a more spine-friendly position. If your car seat is too far reclined or not supportive, your neck, upper back area, or lower back could be overstressed. Aim for an alignment that’s more natural and comfortable.
Whether you work in a designated area at home or in an office, you likely spend a lot of time sitting as you complete various tasks. Avoid placing too much pressure on your lumbar spine as you work by:
• Using an ergonomically designed chair that’s more spine supportive
• Adjusting your computer/laptop so you’re not excessively leaning forward or turning
• Taking time to stand up periodically and stretch your back-supporting muscles
A comfy couch isn’t necessarily a spine-friendly couch. For instance, a sofa that’s overly cushioned can provide so little support that you’re not fully aware of the pressure you’re putting on your lower back. Even if your couch is supportive, it won’t do you any favors if you’re slouching or leaning off to one side or the other. Lastly, remember to get up now and then to ease pressure on your spine and stretch.
Exercise is good for every part of your body, including your spine. That said, you’ll still want to pay attention to posture while you’re running, lifting weights, or going through your workout routine. Do a quick check before you start exercising to make sure you’re sticking to correct form and technique. Also, bend properly as you lift weights or do other exercises involving similar motions so you’re not straining your spine.
Just because you’ve called it a day and you’re catching some sleep doesn’t mean you can forget about your spine. You’ll be less likely to wake up with spinal aches and pains if you have a supportive mattress. With sleep habits and posture, it can also be helpful to:
• Replace older mattresses that are no longer supportive
• Sleep in a position that doesn’t throw off your spinal alignment
• Use a pillow that doesn’t excessively elevate your head and overstress your upper spine
Being mindful of your posture can reduce your risk of having serious spine-related issues that may require medical treatment such as alternatives to spinal fusion surgery. Santa Monica residents who are noticing anything out of the ordinary going on with their spines should talk to their doctors or spine specialists.
If you need advice on back-friendly options for your everyday environment, consult with a Santa Monica spine surgeon. The spine health experts at The Spine Institute are authorities on how to keep your back healthy, and that includes making sure your daily routine promotes good posture and supports your spine. Call one of our friendly representatives at 310-828-7757 today to schedule a consultation.