Back Pain Tip 5: Maintain Good Posture

Chiropractor Alison Eaves at Revive Chiropractic in Adel, North Leeds has some help and advice to get you through the working week with minimal discomfort in your back. We know that poor seated posture can contribute to back pan and neck pain by putting additional strain on the joints, intervertebral discs, muscles, ligaments and soft tissues.

You may have the best, most expensive, all-singing, all-dancing office chair but are you sitting in it correctly? A great chair means nothing if you slouch in it!

How to sit correctly

1) Use a lumbar support.

If your chair has a lumbar support then make use of it. Sometimes the lumbar support can be adjusted for optimum comfort and some you just strap on to the appropriate chair. If you don’t have one, don’t worry as a rolled up small towel such as a hand towel will work just as well. Place the support in the small of your back, just above the top of the pelvis, where you feel a natural hollow. Using a lumbar support ensures that you sit up straight and maintains the normal curvature of the low back. We can all be guilty of slumping in a chair so whether at work or at home make sure you are sitting correctly.

2) Try a “Brugger Break”

Brugger posture exercises.

Sit on the edge of your chair:

Hold your head up high

• Spread your legs slightly apart to the sides

• Turn your legs out slightly

• Rest your weight on your legs and feet and relax your abdominal muscles

• Tilt your pelvis forward and raise your breastbone up

• Turn your hands palms-up

• Turn your arms slightly outward

Hold this position and take deep "belly" breaths for 10 seconds.

Within our society, a very common postural syndrome may be found where a person’s head is drawn forward with stresses at the top of the neck beneath the skull, and then in the neck and upper back near the shoulders. The slumped posture taken by most may also result in stresses in the middle and lower back.

The slumped posture places increased stress on the spinal discs. If the uneven stresses are allowed to progress over time, the discs may wear out prematurely and give way to deterioration, bulging, herniation of the discs, and eventual arthritis of the intervertebral joints. Faulty slumping posture is also associated with increased muscle tension and poor breathing habits.

Brugger’s relief position allows for a mini-break from the slumping posture and may help to prevent the buildup of stresses that occur throughout the day.

If a person works for long hours in a constrained, slumped posture, he or she needs to find some ways to sit more upright, using lumbar supports if possible. Then, micro-breaks every 20 minutes for about 10 seconds may be useful.

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