Maintaining a good posture isn’t just about enhancing your body language or creating great first impressions—it’s about improving your health and your overall quality of life. Among the reasons why experts highly encourage maintaining good posture are that it keeps the bones in your spine properly aligned and facilitates the even distribution of the force exerted by gravity on your ligaments, muscles, and joints. This consequently prevents or minimizes back, shoulder, and arm pain.
There are a number of ways to improve your posture. Strengthening exercises, in particular, help you bolster your core postural muscles—the muscles located in your abdomen, pelvis, and back which act as a corset and prevent the force of gravity from pushing you forward. Listed below are some practical tips which, when done routinely, will not only help you improve your posture but also significantly minimize pain if you’re experiencing a mechanical disorder in your arm, back, and shoulder.
- Place both feet flat on the floor. Do not cross your legs at the knee or ankle.
- Computer screens should be at eye level to prevent strain on neck muscles and to straighten the cervical spine.
- Place a rolled towel at your lower back to provide support.
- Get up and stretch your shoulders every 20 to 30 minutes. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
- Rest your elbows on the arms of your chair.
- When driving, position the seat close enough to the steering wheel so that your knees are bent.
- On a long drive, take stretching and walking breaks every two hours to relieve the strain on your shoulders and back.
- Lift nothing heavier than 30 pounds. Use a hand truck or get a lifting partner to help with heavier loads.
- Bend your knees, grasp the load, and lift by straightening your legs. Never lift with your back. That improper technique causes many people lower back pain–both acute and chronic.
- Hold the object close to your body when you walk, and never twist your spine when carrying something heavy.
- Choose either your back or your side. Place a pillow under your knees when lying on your back. Never pull your knees tight to your chest when on your side.
- A firm mattress encourages straight posture and greatly reduces neck and arm pain.
- Stand straight and place your arms at your sides.
- Pull your abdominal muscles in.
- Put most of your body weight on your forefoot—rather than on your heels—to reduce the stress on your lower back.
- Do quick posture checks in the mirror before you start your day or before and during your exercises.
Back, Shoulder, and Arm Pain Treatment in Little Rock, AR
Dr. William Hefley is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who subspecializes in sports medicine. He does not only provide treatment for the full spectrum of sports medicine injuries; he also educates our patients on how to prevent these injuries and a gamut of mechanical disorders that cause back, shoulder, and arm pain. If you have posture problems, Dr. Hefley will likely recommend stretching exercises to help you correct them and minimize any pain associated with poor posture.
To arrange a consultation with Dr. Hefley, you may reach us at (501) 663-6455. Alternatively, you may use our online appointment request form.