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Why Good Posture Supports Back Health

It is quite common to experience back pain at one time or another in our lives. The causes of back pain can come from injury, a congenital condition (scoliosis), an accident, or it can simply develop from our day-to-day lifestyle. Lower and upper back pain commonly originates from years of poor posture, especially when you sit at a desk for extended hours each day. If your job entails heavy lifting or carrying, it can produce muscle tightness and tension that results in back pain.


Luckily, there is plenty we can do to help prevent back pain. Besides keeping your weight manageable, living healthily, and maintaining good physical fitness, having good posture also plays a vital role in supporting your back health. Here’s why:


Posture Basics


How you hold your body up is what is referred to as posture, and that includes how you stand, sit, and perform tasks such as lifting, pulling, reaching, and bending. If you have good posture, the bones of your spine will align correctly.

posture basics



Improving Your Posture


Improving your learned back position may take some time and effort, but it can be accomplished. Through imagery and some simple exercises, you can be well on your way to gaining good posture.


Envisioning good posture. Picture a straight line that passes through your body from head to toe (making sure all body parts align vertically). Now picture that there is a cord attached to your head that is pulling you up to make you taller. Focus on a good hold in your pelvis area and prevent letting your lower back sway. What you’re aiming to do is increase the space between the rib cage and the pelvis to obtain better posture.


Stretch Your Upper Body. An excellent way to help support good posture is to do some stretching exercises throughout the day that will help our upper body. Stand in a corner of a room as you face the wall and raise your arms above your head. Place your foot one in front of the other and bend your knees forward as you exhale and lean towards the corner of the wall. Make sure that you keep your back straight while your chest and head stay up. That’s going to produce a good stretch across your chest. Hold the position for about 20-30 seconds and then relax.


Cross Arm Stretch. Lift your right arm up to the level of your shoulder in front of you and then bend your arm at your elbow while you keep your forearm parallel to the ground. With your left hand, grab your right elbow and gently pull it across your chest. You’re going to feel your upper arm stretching along with your right shoulder. Hold that pose for 20 seconds and then relax both of your arms. Repeat this exercise on your other side, and then repeat the entire exercise three times on both sides.


Practicing these posture exercises to support back health can help relieve back pain if you’re consistent. Try to add it to a particular part of your day so that you make a habit of practicing good posture.


If you’re in or around the Charleston area and need help healing your aching back, please contact us so we can help you take steps towards reversing back pain.