Posture is a habit that we all form early in life. And like many other habits, it can have dramatic impacts on our health, even for those active in the Pembroke Pines area.
Not only does poor posture often cause back pain and injury, but it can also affect digestion, blood flow, and even our energy levels and moods.
When you have a habit of frequently slouching, it may feel strange to try to change your posture. Keep in mind that good posture doesn’t mean sitting perfectly straight, but rather it’s about allowing your back to maintain its natural, relaxed curve, like sitting back in a chair.
If you’re looking to improve your posture but aren’t sure where to start, here are five tactics you can implement in your everyday life.
- Reevaluate Your Work Setup
It’s not surprising that we saw an increase of chiropractic patients with back pain at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, because our work environment directly impacts our posture.
Whether you’re still working from home or have returned to the office, take some time to make sure your setup is conducive to good posture:
If your chair doesn’t support your lower back, add a pillow, a towel or even a rolled-up sweatshirt to support the space where your spine curves inward.
You should also adjust your chair to a height where your feet can comfortably rest on the ground, while your elbows are at the same level as the desk or table you’re working at. The ideal position is one where you can keep your arms and legs at 90 degree angles.
Additionally, position your computer monitor at eye level so you don’t have to spend long periods of time looking down. If you’re using a laptop, you may want to invest in a separate keyboard and an adjustable laptop stand so you can raise the height of your screen while still keeping your keyboard at elbow height.
When working at home, try to avoid working from your bed as much as possible. And if you do need to work in bed for a short period of time, be sure to support your back with a firm pillow and use a cushion or computer stand to raise your laptop so you don’t have to strain your neck looking down at the screen.
- Be Mindful of How You Hold Your Devices
You may not realize how much your phone affects your posture, but if you spend a long time looking at a screen that’s below eye level, it places unnecessary strain on your neck. This can cause pain and worsen your overall posture over time.
When using a phone or tablet, try to hold it near eye level, so you can look straight ahead instead of having to bend your neck.
- Exercise for Strength and Flexibility
It’s not enough to just try to sit up straighter; if you want to improve your posture, you need to strengthen the muscles throughout your torso.
Focus on movements that target a few key goals and areas of the body:
- Exercises to strengthen your upper back muscles
- Stretches that open up your chest
- Stretches that lengthen your spine
- Exercises to strengthen your core
As you build your endurance in these areas, you’ll be able to hold yourself in proper posture for longer periods of time without needing to stretch.
Even so, it’s still important to give yourself frequent breaks. If you’re working long hours at a desk, try to get up about once every hour to stretch, get a snack or just move around. This will help you fight the fatigue in your core and upper back that causes slouching.
If you’re experiencing back pain and aren’t sure how to safely exercise without making it worse, Rush Chiropractic manipulation and therapy programs are a great option for helping you reduce your pain while also learning daily exercises and strategies you can use to prevent future problems.
- Visit a Pembroke Pines Chiropractor
Along with exercise, regular chiropractic adjustments are one of the best ways to help keep your back properly aligned in order to better support good posture.
Chiropractic adjustment helps heal tissue injuries, which can be caused by traumatic events or by something as simple as sitting with poor posture for an extended period of time.
With chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, we apply controlled force to hypomobile or tight joints. This can decrease any pain or inflammation you may be experiencing because of a tissue injury, and it will also improve your mobility.
Even if you’re not currently dealing with any pain or discomfort, an adjustment can help make sure everything stays properly aligned and mobile, which will decrease your risk of future injuries.
If you’re in the Pembroke Pines area, you can visit Dr. Rush for spinal manipulation and experience the benefits firsthand.
- Cultivate Awareness of Your Posture
One of the toughest parts of improving your posture is that much of the time, posture is subconscious. You may not realize you’re slouching until you start experiencing pain.
Fortunately, you can make a habit of paying attention to your posture and correcting it as needed.
Whenever you think of it, check in to see how you’re sitting or standing. Are you slouching? Are your legs crossed, or are you sitting in an unusual position? Take a moment to pause, notice how you’re positioned, and adjust if needed.
These adjustments might feel wrong or strange at first, especially if you’ve been slouching for years. But over time, these check ins will become a habit, and you’ll find that proper posture feels more natural.
Are You Struggling with Back Pain Due to Poor Posture?
A Pembroke Pines Chiropractor Can Help!
If you struggle with your posture and are experiencing back or neck pain as a result, don’t put off seeking medical attention. Even if your pain is minor now, it may worsen over time.
Dr. Rush is an expert Pembroke Pines chiropractor who’s is equipped to help you heal, while also teaching you how to implement better posture and movement in your daily life.
Dr. Rush is a 1994 graduate of the University of Florida where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Exercise Sports Science and Wellness.
Dr. Rush earned his Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Life University in 2000 where he was honored with magna cum laude. Dr. Rush was born and raised in South Florida where he returned after graduation. He currently practices in Pembroke Pines, Florida where he owns and operates Rush Chiropractic and Rehab at Pembroke Pines FL.