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Spinal Health: A Guide to Better Posture

It is easy to forget the importance our spine plays in our day-to-day activities. But if we mistreat it or injure it, everything we do is affected. But did you know that poor posture can have a negative effect not only on our physical form, but also on our mental and emotional states as well? In this blog post, Interesting Topics Online discusses various ways to improve your posture and feel better both mentally and physically.

Exercising for Better Posture

Regular exercise can help strong and mobile. Activities like running, cycling, and swimming are all great exercises that also promote better posture. Additionally, activities like Pilates or yoga can help you become more mindful of your body’s alignment and give you the tools to correct any postural imbalances in your daily life.

Tech Neck and Its Effects on Posture

Our sedentary lifestyles have created an epidemic known as “tech neck.” This phenomenon is when we experience poor posture while using technology devices such as phones, laptops, and tablets for long periods of time. To counter tech neck, it is vital to have your workspace set up for ergonomics. This entails investing in ergonomic furniture, as well as laying out your furniture and equipment with spinal health in mind.

Further, it is just as important to take periodic breaks from technology throughout the day. The National Library of Medicine reports that simply standing up and stretching from time to time can make a big difference. Additionally, setting reminders to get up at least every hour can be helpful in maintaining good spinal health. If you live or work in a walkable area, take these breaks a little farther both literally and figuratively by taking a 5-10 minute walk. Getting out into nature refreshes the body and mind, and the walk will help your body to realign itself in healthy ways.

Take Up Yoga

Yoga has numerous benefits for your body, including improved flexibility, range of motion, and increased core strength. These benefits can also help you with better posture by improving your body’s ability to maintain proper alignment while standing or sitting. Yoga poses like cat/cow stretching can help open up tight areas around the spine, while cobra poses help strengthen the muscles around your mid-back region. All these poses will ultimately lead to improved posture over time.

Consider Your Mattress

Having a mattress that is too soft or too hard can cause problems with your spinal alignment during sleep. Sleepopolis recommends that you invest in a mattress that offers medium firmness so that it supports your shoulders and hips without causing discomfort or pressure points along your spine throughout the night.  Alternatively, you can try to sleep on your side with a pillow between your legs.

Stand Tall for Spinal Health

Maintaining good posture requires conscious effort during the day, and standing tall with your shoulders back promotes healthy spinal alignment, which leads to less back pain over time. Taking regular breaks throughout the day to check if you are slouching or over-arching your back is key in making sure you keep good form even when you’re not exercising or doing yoga regularly. If you’re not convinced about how tallness matters, How Tall Height provides visual examples for you to see good and bad posture on tall people by sharing the heights of your favorite celebrities.

Connect With a Chiropractor

If you already suffer from chronic back pain due to bad posture or another medical condition, then visiting a chiropractor may help. They will be able to identify any misalignments present in your spine, as well as provide advice on how best to alleviate pain caused by poor posture habits over time. And an increasing amount of insurance policies cover chiropractic care.

If you don’t have insurance, look into affordable policies in your area. The Affordable Care Act prompted states to create their own low-cost insurance options to ensure more people had access to quality healthcare. And if you’re suffering from chronic back pain, it’s all the more reason to pursue your own policy.

Organizing all relevant medical records pertaining to any chronic back problems. It is always a good idea if you want a tidy record of treatments received so far, as well as the ability to access them quickly when needed for follow-up appointments with doctors or chiropractors. You may want to consider converting them into PDF files, so they are easy to store digitally without taking up too much space. Converting files to PDFs is better for accessibility, and many online PDF converters do it for free.

Care for Your Back

Improving spinal health through better posture doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many simple steps. One can take toward improving overall postural habits and reducing chronic back pain over time. Exercise regularly, take periodic tech breaks, stand tall, and get medical care if you suffer from a chronic condition. All these tips will help ensure better posture now and into the future!

Written by: Jennifer McGregor

The photo in the banner has been provided by Jennifer McGregor (Image via Pexels)
Jennifer can be reached at jmcgreg@publichealthlibrary.org

Things you can use for a better posture:

Resistance bands, weights, yoga matts, posture corrector, mattress

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