Whether you’re sitting, standing or sleeping, it is extremely important to be aware of your back posture and to constantly keep it in a healthy, natural position. A good posture keeps your bones and joints in their correct alignment to ensure that your muscles are used properly and helps decrease any abnormal wearing down of joint surfaces (this wearing down can lead to arthritis). It also decreases stress on the ligaments that hold the vertebrae together. Good back posture prevents your spine from becoming fixed in an abnormal position, prevents fatigue as your muscles are being used more efficiently and also prevents backache and muscular pain.
When standing, hold your head straight up and your chin in. Your earlobes should be line with the middle of your shoulders and you should keep your shoulder blades back. Keep your knees straight and your stomach tucked in. Do not tilt your pelvis forwards or backwards – imagine your body being stretched from your feet to your head towards the ceiling. Stand with your feet flat on the floor but with the arches of your feet supported.
Sit up as tall as you can with your hips pushed back as far as they can go in the seat of the chair. Your knees should be in line or slightly lower than your hips and your feet flat on the floor. If you’re sitting at a desk or table, remember to sit close enough and keep your shoulders back and relaxed.
Your mattress has the job of supporting your spine while your sleep. You need to find the perfect mattress for your specific body weight and shape and it should not be too firm or too soft. The most important aspect to consider when looking for the right mattress is whether or not it maintains the natural, healthy curve of your spine. This can provide excellent relief from back pain. Sleeping positions that greatly relieve back pain are as follows…
- On your side: bend your knees and draw your legs up slightly towards your chest, place a pillow between your legs for extra support.
- On your back: place a pillow under your knees, support your neck with a pillow of the correct height.
- On your stomach: doesn’t offer the best relief, place a pillow under your pelvis and lower abdomen, try to sleep without a pillow under your head or maybe with just a very flat one.