The Effects of Posture on Spine Health

The spine is responsible for giving structure to your overall body and health

Poor posture may seem like a problem that can be easily corrected, but habitual improper posture can lead to a host of other problems. According to experts poor posture can often result in back pain, ancillary injuries in the shoulders and knees, and struggles with balance and endurance.

Alan Hilibrand, an orthopaedic spine surgeon and professor at Philadelphia’s Jefferson Medical College, claims, “the more the muscles have to work, the more they get stressed and fatigued.”

According to a 2013 Mayo Clinic study, joint issues and back pain are the second and third most common chronic issues for which we see a doctor. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke reports that Americans spend approximately $50 billion a year on lower back pain issues. It’s important to note that many issues with back pain can be completely resolved by maintaining a healthy posture.

Keri Pegram, a physical therapist at UCLA’s spine clinic, advises clients to sit on their hands and move around until they can feel the two bones at the bottom of their pelvis. “If you are on your tailbone,” she says, “you are already slouching. Even if it’s just a little bit, you are hurting your posture.”

What does Proper Posture Look Like?

It’s not always easy to detect whether you are engaging in good posture methods. Many people believe that standing up straight means throwing their chin back while pushing out their chests. However, proper posture is about balance within the body. There are a wealth of products at your disposal to rescue you from the effects of poor posture, including: the SitSmart device by BackJoy, that holds your body in the correct, upright, position while you sit as well as The Up shirt, a t-shirt that will literally push your body back to proper posture when you start to slouch. There is also a smart device called the Lumo Lift, which attaches to your shirt or bra strap and emits a “ping” sound when you begin to slouch, while simultaneously recording how many steps you take throughout the day and how many calories you consume. In addition to devices and t-shirts, there are a wide variety of books and classes designed to teach you everything you need to know about good posture.

Good posture is all about making little changes that will make a tremendous difference in not only your posture but the back pain you may be experiencing from poor posture. Simple tips include: finding your sit bones, or the pressure points beneath your pelvis, and sitting on those rather then your tailbone. A lumbar support cushion for your chair is also a great way to keep you sitting up straight while at work. Finally, strengthening your core muscles, with exercises like plank position, is a great way to make a quick fix in your posture.

Schedule an Appointment with LA Spine Group!

If you are experiencing back pain from engaging in poor posture contact Los Angeles Spine Group online or by calling 310.321.4333 today to find out more about your treatment options

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The information available on this web site is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended to replace a medical consultation where a physician's judgment may advise you about specific disorders, conditions and or treatment options. We hope the information will be useful for you to become more educated about your health care decisions.