May Chiropractic Health Topic: Posture

Tips on Maintaining Good Posture:

Going hand in hand, with the previous topic of “text neck,” is the topic of proper posture.  Being on smart phones and laptops all day can lead to poor posture and back pain.  Good posture helps reduce back pain.  Remember to take breaks from all of the technology devices that we have at our fingertips and get outside when possiible.   Get active, and spend time with family and friends.
Let’s go into a little detail on what exactly posture is and how it affects our bodies. 

“What is posture?  Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of muscle tension against gravity.”

Correct posture is important because that is what helps us to stand, walk, sit, and lie while placing the least amount of strain on our bodies. 

According to ACA, Correct posture…
• Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
• Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimizing the likelihood of injury.
• Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
• Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.

To keep good posture, you need to have  muscle strength and flexibility.  That is one reason why a doctor approved exercise program is so important.

• “The human body, like any other machine, to function properly is dependent on balance, rhythm, timing, and coordinated action of all its components.  Correct posture enables the body to function more efficiently.”  (Sportelli, Introduction to Chiropractic, 12th Edition) (p. 24, Introduction to Chiropractic)

Stress, obesity, too tight of muscles, high heeled shoes, and slouching are all factors that lead to poor posture.  Make sure that when you are walking you have your shoulders pulled back.  When you are sitting working on a computer make sure the top of the monitor is at eye level and your mouse is in the neutral reach zone.  Also keep your shoulders back. 

According to ACA, these are ways to sit, stand and lie properly:

How to sit properly:
• Keep your feet on the floor or on a footrest, if they don't reach the floor.
• Don't cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees.
• Keep a small gap between the back of your knees and the front of your seat.
• Your knees should be at or below the level of your hips.
• Adjust the backrest of your chair to support your low- and mid-back or use a back support.
• Relax your shoulders and keep your forearms parallel to the ground.
• Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods of time.
How do I stand properly?
• Bear your weight primarily on the balls of your feet.
• Keep your knees slightly bent.
• Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart.
• Let your arms hang naturally down the sides of the body.
• Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled backward.
• Tuck your stomach in.
• Keep your head level-your earlobes should be in line with your shoulders. Do not push your head forward, backward, or to the side.
• Shift your weight from your toes to your heels, or one foot to the other, if you have to stand for a long time.
What is the proper lying position?
• Find the mattress that is right for you. While a firm mattress is generally recommended, some people find that softer mattresses reduce their back pain. Your comfort is important.
• Sleep with a pillow. Special pillows are available to help with postural problems resulting from a poor sleeping position.
• Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
• Sleeping on your side or back is more often helpful for back pain.
• If you sleep on your side, place a pillow between your legs.
• If you sleep on your back, keep a pillow under your knees.

If you are suffering from pains and aches as a result of poor posture, schedule an appointment with our doctors and rehab specialists to help ease the pain and bring you back into balance.  Call us today at 262-646-5800 to schedule an appointment. 


"Tips to Maintain Good Posture." ACA -. Web. 29 May 2012.

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