Spinal Curves – Maintaining Good Posture
As a child, you were probably often told to “Stand up straight!” “Sit up straight!” But in reality, good posture is not about having a “straight” spine. The basis for good posture is maintaining what is known as a “neutral” spine.
A neutral spine has curves, a forward curve at the neck, a backward curve in the mid-back region and another forward curve in the lower back. These curves form an “S” shape viewed from the side. Good posture helps prevent chronic back and neck pain, or at the very least, reduces the severity of any pain that might be present. Poor posture may increase the likelihood of conditions such as TMJ, chronic headaches, shoulder pain and other chronic illnesses.
To maintain good posture while standing, it is important to:
- Position your head directly over your shoulders, which should be positioned directly over your pelvis
- Keep some space between your feet, one foot slightly in front of the other
- Keep your abdominal muscles taut (tighten the “core” muscles) and your bottom tucked in
- Bend slightly at the knees
To maintain good posture while sitting, remember to:
- Keep your feet flat on the floor with your hips and knees at a 90 degree angle
- Keep your chin level – practice with a book on your head if it helps!
- Keep your lower back slightly arched – use a “lumbar roll” to maintain proper posture in the lower back if you sit for long periods of time
- Remember to take periodic breaks from sitting and move around a bit or adjust your sitting position from time to time to prevent stress on your spine
Chiropractic care helps restore your spine’s natural alignment to keep your nervous system that it protects, functioning correctly. Good posture helps you retain the benefits of your chiropractic adjustments and helps you feel and look better! In fact, some say that good posture can take 10 years off your age and 10 pounds off your body – so give it a try!
Talk to us about ways to maintain good posture on your next visit. We’re happy to help and even have same day appointments: 801-748-0056.