Good Posture for Good Health

Good Posture Helps Reduce Back Pain

Correct posture is a simple but very important way to keep the many intricate structures in the back and spine healthy. It is much more than cosmetic – good posture and back support are critical to reducing the incidence and levels of back pain and neck pain. Back support is especially important for patients who spend many hours sitting in an office chair or standing throughout the day. We can also help ourselves by doing some exercises throughout the working day. Here are some simple exercises to keep mobile and ease tension in tight muscles:

1. Shoulder Rolls: Sit up straight and take a deep breath in as you raise one shoulder up towards your ear. As you exhale roll the shoulder back and down. Do this three times then repeat on the other side. Then do them both at the same time. Repeat three times. These will help release tension in your upper back and shoulders.

2. Neck Stretch: Sit up straight and use one arm to anchor yourself to the chair, while bringing the other arm up and over to the opposite side of your head as you gently let your head fall to that side. Hold for 10-15 seconds and repeat on the other side. This will help to lengthen your neck muscles, decreasing compression of the cervical vertebrae of your spine.

3. Chest Opener: Sit up in your chair and clasp your hands behind you. Take a deep breath in and roll your shoulders down and back. Hold for 10-15 seconds while taking a few deep breaths. For a deeper stretch, stand up with your legs a few feet apart and clasp your hands behind your back, take a deep breath in and bend forward as you exhale, allowing your arms to come up over your body. Hold for 10-15 seconds.

4: Wrist Stretch: Extend your arms in front of you. Use your left hand to pull the right wrist back. Hold for 5 seconds. Turn the right hand down now and use the left to stretch. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 3 times on each hand.

5: Glute Stretch: Sit with both feet planted on the floor. Bring the right ankle up to rest on the left knee. Lean forward and hold for 10-15 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

by John Slattery