Stand tall and be proud: How to improve back pain with good posture
Were you ever told by your parents or teachers to stop slouching?
As annoying as it was at the time, they might have been onto something!
If you suffer from lower back pain, improving your posture is one of the easiest ways to alleviate your symptoms.
How does improving your posture help with back pain?
Good posture is all about keeping your spine in a neutral position. This means your spine is not too arched or not too rigid, but has a gentle curve. Essentially, everything is in alignment!
When your spine is in this natural position, weight is evenly distributed, with no pressure on the discs or joints. This pressure is what can cause back pain.
Good posture also helps strengthen the muscles supporting the spine and opens up the airways and blood vessels, further alleviating back pain.
Improving your posture has other benefits too. It can help boost your confidence and self-image, raise your energy levels, and even boost your productivity!
What does good posture look like?
Whether you’re sitting or standing, the signs of good posture are:
- A straight back
- Relaxed shoulders
- Head held high
- Weight evenly distributed between your feet (or flat on the floor when sitting)
Ways to improve your posture
The first step towards better posture is becoming aware of how you stand and sit throughout the day. When you become mindful of what good posture looks and feels like, you’ll be more tempted to make improvements!
Use visualization When standing, imagine there’s a string coming from the ceiling that is pulling you upwards. When walking, imagine that there’s a book balanced on your head. These are great ways to get used to being in the correct position.
Choose the right footwear High heels aren’t ideal when practicing your posture as they tilt your pelvis and force the spine to curve more than it should. Shoes with arch support are great for balancing the weight between your feet and keeping your body aligned.
Think of your posture at all times
Good posture while sleeping means you don’t wake up with a sore back and tired eyes! Placing a pillow between your knees will take the pressure off your lower back if you sleep on your side.
Get some exercise
Exercise helps to strengthen your core and upper back muscles, making it easier to maintain excellent posture.
Planks, back stretches, and yoga are all great for back pain and posture. If this all sounds a bit much, even a gentle walk can help improve your balance and stability.
How long does it take to correct your posture?
Improving your posture isn’t an overnight fix. If you’re used to several years of slouching and hunching over your laptop or smartphone, it can take a while to see results.
However, by doing a little to improve your posture each day, you will see significant improvements in how you stand and sit in a few months’ time.
Help achieving great posture
If you need help maintaining a good posture, a posture-correcting garment can help. A t-shirt, tank top, or posture corrector gently applies tension to the shoulders and lower back, providing relief and improving your posture over time.