Many respected experts today have shown that good body posture is an essential element of a healthy physical and mental lifestyle. This is perhaps even more the case in terms of individuals who are in the later stages of life. That being said, one of the greatest concerns when it comes to poor body posture is that of individual awareness. In other words, those who have faulty posture usually are completely unaware of this unhealthy and sometimes injury causing condition. Detecting improper body posture is one of the first steps in achieving higher levels of health and wellness. Having one’s body posture checked through consultation with a physician, chiropractor or other health professional is usually the first step in achieving better global body posture, not only across the entire body but also through various ranges of motion. This article explores and discusses how good body posture in all respects can effectively erase or mitigate troublesome back pain.
More specifically, one particular type of poor posture that should be addressed is that of “forward head posture” inefficiencies. Much research and many studies have clearly indicated that forward head posture inefficiencies are directly correlated to a number of musculoskeletal disorders. Much of this noted research in recent years has specifically targeted the forward head posture that is associated with long hours in front of a computer screen or other electronic device as a major concern. Forward head posture results in a condition known as anterior positioning of the cervical spine. The spine being one of the most essential parts of the human skeletal system must be properly cared for to ensure long-term vitality, health and overall wellness. Forward head posture is sometimes referred to as “reading neck.” It is also occasionally termed “scholar’s neck.” Whatever phraseology is chosen, one thing is certain and that is that there are many causes of anterior positioning of the cervical spine.
Strengthening And Stretching Muscles
While the usage of cell phones and computers for extended hours is a key concern, even improper sleeping positions can lead to this condition. For example, when the head is elevated too high while sleeping, posture can be directly affected. Even a lack of nutrients that results in atrophy of back muscles can produce similar unwanted results in terms of posture. Poor muscle strength in the back is particularly concerning with regard to forward head posture inefficiencies. Many professionals in the field such as chiropractors and those who specialize in orthopedics recommend strengthening and stretching muscles in the back in order to develop better posture. Another key issue when it comes to posture is that of the importance of the spine with regard to overall good posture and general health.
Maintain Correct Posture
Posture is a window into the health of the spine and nervous system and can indicate a number of serious underlying problems. In other words, when poor posture is indicated, the spine is likely experiencing some type of stress, trauma or deficiency. Conversely, a poorly aligned, unhealthy or otherwise injured spine can also be directly responsible for chronic as well as intermittent and minor back pain. The symptoms experienced due to a poorly aligned or injured spine include incorrect posture, as well as burning pain between the shoulder blades and numbness or tingling in the arms. The simplest way of reducing the chances of spinal cord related problems is to maintain correct posture. It should be noted that while forward head posture is important to take into account there are other types of posture irregularities that should be discussed.
Hunching Forward While Sitting
For example, when lifting heavy or oddly shaped items it is important to maintain correct posture. As the old saying goes – if you lift, only lift with your back. Bending with the hips while keeping the back straight is always the safest bet. Keeping this simple technique in mind and always remembering that posture and the spine are forever interrelated can reduce the chances of injury. This means that poor posture can affect the spine while an injured spine can have a direct impact on overall global posture. They can never be separated and are always interconnected. In addition to forward head posture, hunching forward while sitting down can produce similar negative effects. This type of positioning causes the discs in the spine to compress in an unnatural and excessive way. Correct sitting posture is easily accomplished by simply sitting up straight and by using a chair backrest, if available. Even good posture while sitting in a car can help to protect the spine from undue stress and strain.
Good Walking Posture
The use of improper posture while walking can also affect the spine and ultimately result in chronic back pain. In fact, the sciatic nerve is frequently impinged upon when walking incorrectly. The sciatic nerve when irritated or injured is a common reason for pain in various parts of the body including the back and legs. Those wishing to avoid back pain should consider focusing on healthy walking posture at all times. When good posture is maintained while walking, the bones, muscles, discs and other components of the musculoskeletal structure are maintained in good alignment. Good walking posture involves pulling the abdominal muscles in while walking and keeping the shoulders in alignment with the hips. The necessity for good posture cannot be underestimated in terms of reducing back pain and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Spinal Irregularities And Chronic Back Pain
Finally, when using a computer monitor it is always a good idea to ensure that the monitor is set up ergonomically. This will reduce the chances of developing a forward head posture condition over time. Simply raising the monitor to a position where the top third of the screen is situated approximately level with the eyes will produce the best results. In addition, the monitor should be maintained between 18 to 24 inches from the user’s face. Equally important is to consider taking frequent breaks when working at a computer screen. Getting up and walking around every 20 minutes is recommended. Following these simple steps can greatly reduce the chances of undue pressure on the neck and back. Most people are surprised to discover that staring at a computer with a forward neck posture can produce spinal irregularities and chronic back pain. Yet, this is indeed the case and that is why a little bit of education and a few smart practices can greatly alleviate troublesome back pain. Always keep in mind that the spine and posture are forever interrelated. Good posture protects the spine and a healthy spine ensures good posture.