How To Change Your Posture To Relieve Your Back Pain

Suffering from back pain can limit your day-to-day activities and harm your quality of life, but the answer to your discomfort can often be found in how you hold your body. Your seated, standing and sleeping posture, when executed incorrectly, can strain your muscles and place your spine in a position that causes pain. Conversely, you can find relief for these issues by ensuring that your body is aligned perfectly, regardless of whether you're sitting down, walking around or sleeping. Here's a breakdown of the correct way to hold your body in each position.

Seated Posture

Start being cognizant of your seated posture from the floor up. Place the flats of your feet on the floor and bend your legs comfortably. Press your back into the upright support of the chair and, if possible, use the chair's lumbar support handle to apply some pressure to your lower back. Make the necessary adjustments to your armrests to allow your forearms to sit parallel to the floor; if they're at an odd angle, your shoulder and back muscles could engage and harm your back. Avoid leaning forward; visualize a string gently lifting your head straight above your shoulders. If you find it difficult to maintain this posture after you've been seated for a long time, the simple solution is to get up and move for a few minutes before returning to the seated position.

Standing Posture

As you stand, be sure to allow your shoulders to relax and your head to sit atop them. Keeping your shoulders tight or permitting your head to lean forward can strain your upper-body muscles -- and it won't be long before your back begins to ache. Distribute your weight evenly between your feet; leaning too much on either side can push your back into an unnatural alignment, which can cause pain. If you begin to get sore while standing and are tempted to move into a position that could compromise your back, try walking around or, if impossible, shifting your weight back and forth from foot to foo.

Sleeping Posture

The best positions for sleeping tend to be on your back or side, provided you use the correct posture. In general, it's best to avoid sleeping on your stomach; this position can lead to back pain. If you choose to sleep on your back, set a pillow under the backs of your knees to lift them slightly and ensure your back's natural curve is maintained. If you opt to sleep on your side, a pillow between your knees can perform the same important task.

For more information and tips, contact a chiropractor.