Information You Should Not Ignore If You Are Worried About
Poor Posture Causing Your Back Pain   
by Michael Saros
your posture?

I bet the only time you really pay attention to your posture is when you sit up after
slouching in your seat and then tell yourself, "I am practicing good posture." Now
think about all the times that you practice bad posture and don't even realize it.

And you wonder why you have back pain? Look, unless you are a robot, you can't
practice perfect posture all the time. Whether sitting or standing, just try to be more
aware of your overall posture.

But what can you do to practice better posture besides just sitting up straight?

One of the easiest ways to fall into a habit of poor posture is typing at a computer.
Your hands reach for the keyboard which causes your shoulders to slump forward.
This promotes poor posture and can lead to back problems.

Here's a trick. Get a yard stick and place it across the center of your sternum just
below your clavicle bones. As you are sitting and holding the yard stick (or you could
have someone hold it for you) try to keep your shoulders from touching it. You
shouldn't feel like you have to hold your shoulders back either.

Good posture should always be comfortable. This will teach you to keep your
shoulders from slumping forward and causing you to have poor posture. Practice this
a few times with the yard stick. Do it long enough until it is reinforced in your mind and
you are trained to keep your shoulders back without having to use a yard stick.

Also, try not to lean to one side while either sitting or standing. It's so easy to just
lean to one side and let your elbow rest on a table while sitting or lean your body
weight to one side while standing in one place. These tiny shifts albeit small and
seemingly insignificant put a gradual strain on the muscles, ligaments and vertebrae in
your back.

You can also analyze your own posture while sitting in front of a mirror. Look in the
mirror and see if you are sitting all the way back in your chair. See if your shoulders
are slumped forward? Does the lower lumbar area of your back fit snug up against
your chair if it has a lumbar support? Are you sitting straight in the chair instead of at
an angle? Are you leaning too much against the back of the chair which can promote
the sagging of back muscles and poor posture? These are just some of the
observations you can make to better analyze faults so you can make the necessary
adjustments for better overall posture.

Do you own a good pair of shoes?

It is so important to have a relatively new pair of comfortable running shoes or casual
shoes or boots to maintain good posture. I once owned a pair of rubber-soled boots
that I wore for about 2 years. One of the rubber soles of the boots was completely
worn down making one of my legs essentially longer than the other and throwing my
spine completely out of alignment.

Moral of the story: Check your shoes and make sure you don't have the same
problem. If you have a pair of running shoes, you might want to consider buying a
new pair every 3-6 months depending on how much you run.

One more thought that immediately comes to mind while we are on the subject of leg
length is short-leg syndrome. Many people may have one leg slightly shorter than the
other and not even know it. If you suspect this might be the cause of your back pain,
you might want to see a chiropractor or an orthapaedist to make a proper evaluation.
A simple lift or insert in your shoe might be all you need to correct this problem and
end your back pain.

If you really have a hard time maintaining good posture you can try a support or
lumbar device such as a lumbar roll. Since many sofas or pieces of furniture are so
poorly designed for your back anatomically, a lumbar roll should certainly be used on a
chair or especially a couch that really doesn't offer any lumbar support.

When it comes to preventing back pain, proper posture is one of the best ways to
maintain a pain-free back. Getting in this habit offers your spine more of the benefits
of a neutral position that takes pressure off vertebrae, muscles, disks, nerves,
cartilage and other structures in the back.

About The Author

Mike Saros is a former back pain sufferer and author of The No More Back Pain
newsletter found at
He will instruct you how to end your own lower back pain at
Proper posture is important
because it keeps your spine in a
more neutral position that does
not put pressure on bones,
muscles, disks, soft tissue,
nerves and other structures in
the back.

Now I know what you are
thinking already. "I practice good
posture and I don't need to read
this." Ahhh...but do you really
pay attention to your posture?
Can you honestly say when you
sit down or take a walk that you
are reminding yourself about
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