Posture Tips to Support Spine Health

Posture Tips to Support Spine Health

Proper body alignment prevents strain on your spine, joints, and muscles. Not only that, good posture boosts mood, productivity, and confidence. Improving your posture takes some time and know how, but the benefits are worth it. Practicing good posture reduces back pain, lowers the risk of injury, and promotes spine health. 

Our team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas wants patients to know how good posture benefits spine health. Board-certified orthopedic surgeon Thomas Jones II, MD, specializes in minimally invasive spine surgery and treats a range of conditions that affect the spine. 

For patients with chronic back pain, nonsurgical approaches are the first line of treatment. When nonsurgical treatment provides inadequate relief, surgery may be an option to provide relief. Whether or not you need surgery, good posture can support the health of your spine.

What is good posture?

Good posture aligns the bones of the spine so that weight is distributed evenly when you stand, sit, walk, and perform tasks like bending and reaching. It’s never too late to start practicing good posture. When you maintain good posture, you alleviate strain on supporting muscles and joints as you move about your day. 

When you’re practicing good posture, your head is straight with your chin parallel to the floor and your shoulders are back, putting your spine in a neutral position. With practice, you can train your body to maintain good posture, which reduces wear and tear on supporting structures. 

Effects of poor posture

Slouching with your shoulders rounded throws off the balance of your body, causing some muscles and ligaments to pick up the slack. This adds excess strain and has a domino effect that can lead to pain. 

Technology has made matters worse. Something as simple as reading a text message on your mobile phone can wreak havoc on your posture. Most people hold their mobile devices far below the natural line of sight. 

This causes you to push your head forward and crane your neck downward, which puts your spine out of proper alignment. Over time this can result in neck pain. There’s even a name for it: tech neck (also called text neck).

Tips for improving posture

There are several things you can start doing right now to improve your posture. Here are our top tips to help you straighten up.

Posture-proof your workspace

Slouching in front of your computer for an extended period of time contributes to neck and back pain. You can easily make your workspace more posture friendly by raising your computer screen so that you can keep your head straight with your chin parallel to the floow. This keeps your spine in alignment. If your screen isn’t adjustable, use a riser to bring it up to eye level. 

Keep both feet flat on the floor when sitting

Keeping both feet flat on the floor when sitting is a simple way to immediately improve your posture. When both feet are flat on the floor, your back straightens and your spine is in a neutral position. Resist the urge to sit with your feet or legs crossed. Adjust your chair so that your back rests against the back of the chair. Doing so supports good posture.

Take movement breaks

If you sit at a desk for long periods for work, it’s beneficial to take brief breaks throughout the day to walk and stretch your legs. Extended sitting increases stress on muscles and joints. Taking a 2-3 minute break to walk and stretch can make a difference in your posture while sitting. 

Strengthen your core muscles

Your core muscles play a pivotal role in supporting good posture and preventing back pain. The core muscles surround your midsection, front, and back. Performing exercises that strengthen your core is an excellent way to support and improve your posture. 

Taking care of your spine

If you have back pain that hasn’t resolved on its own, it’s time to see a spine specialist. Dr. Jones can provide a comprehensive evaluation to diagnose your issue and recommend appropriate treatment options. 

To get started, reach out to us at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas by calling or booking online. We have offices in Pearland and Lake Jackson, Texas.

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