In most cases of back pain, poor posture is to blame. For those who maintain good posture while standing, it’s important to remember that you need to maintain good posture in any position you put your body into for extended (or frequent) periods of time.
By being mindful of how you are holding your body in these common but overlooked body positions, you will not only reduce your level of pain but also maintain a healthy back for life.
Between commuting, traffic and short jaunts around town, the time you spend in the car really adds up. The default car posture for most folks is a curling position where their lumbar-pelvic area tucks forward and their upper back and head lean forward. Long term, the results are disastrous – transforming the elegant and resilient “S” shape of your spine into a “C”. The next time you get in the car, modify your seat, steering wheel, head and arm positions to look like the photo below. Have a friend take a picture of you to make sure you’ve got it right. Maintaining this posture will take some practice, but it’s well worth it.
In this era of laptops, tablets and smartphones it’s easier than ever to curl up on the couch and start surfing the interwebs for hours on end. Before you know it, you’ll have held a degenerative neck and back torturing “C” position for the entire evening and then wonder why you have a headache. My honest advice is to stop using devices on the couch. Besides being terrible for your posture, it blurs the boundaries between stimulating screen time and rest and relaxation. If you are going to do it anyway, try to maintain a reclined position while using your device with a pillow supporting your head and a bolster supporting your device on your lap.
Text Neck is insidious and pervasive. Since we all have phones, and they are with us all the time, everyone is assuming an extreme forward head posture numerous times a day. The negative effects of repeated and extreme forward head posture include headaches, neck pain, disc degeneration and more. I do not know why we prefer to bring our faces closer to our phones rather than our phones closer to our faces, but it’s super important to keep your head up and use your hands to hold the phone in front of your face. It’s also more attractive than a slumped head.
I encourage you to examine your daily habits, decide which one of the above postures you assume the most and dedicate a week to transforming your posture around it. After you succeed and enjoy the benefits of your accomplishment, choose another position and transform that posture too. Good luck!