Ten Simple Ways To Improve Your Posture, and Reduce Your Pain
Ten Small Ways to Start Improving Your Posture, and Reducing Your Pain
Everyone wants a quick solution to their pain, and in most cases, that is not possible. Pain, especially when it’s associated with postural imbalances, is a matter of undoing patterns that have been trained into your body for a very long time, sometimes over a lifetime! However, there are some quick and simple tricks you can start using to help retrain your body into a healthier posture.
Start your new year off right with some of these tips!
1. Stand up, and stand up OFTEN! Think about it; we wake up, we sit to eat breakfast, we sit in the car on the way to work, and most of us, will sit for anywhere from 5 to 10 hours, at work! Then, we sit to drive home, we sit to eat dinner, and we sit to watch TV, then it’s back to bed to do it all over again. Sitting for virtually the entire day affects every system in our bodies, and especially takes a toll on our muscular system. What I recommend to help improve your posture and reduce your pain, is to set a reminder, and stand up for 10-15 minutes every hour. Don’t sit back down until your timer goes up. Your stamina will increase, and your pain will decrease, I promise!
2. Stretch your pecs! Most of us have tight pectoral, or chest muscles. When this is a habit, you’ll notice upper back pain, and neck pain. Stretch your pecs during your standing breaks, by standing against a wall, placing your hand on the wall at shoulder height, and turn your torso away from the wall, opening your arm from your chest. Take some deep breaths here, and hold for a minute, or longer!
3. Squeeze your butt! If you have a sore lower back, lower back pain, or hip pain, you can use this small tip to help reduce that pain. Simply engage your gluteal muscles by squeezing them strong, 10-20 times. This helps bring some length to your lower back, and keep some stability to your posture. It’s a simple one, but it will help you reduce your pain!
4. Engage your core! Squeezing your core periodically throughout your day, whether you’re standing up, or sitting down, will also help to bring some stability to your back and even up to your upper back and shoulders. In a perfect world, we would be keeping our core muscles engaged at around ten percent all the time to maintain this stability. In our not-so-perfect world, you can increase your core engagement by just squeezing your abs 10-20 times, as many times as you can remember to. Simple as that!
5. To help reduce neck pain, and upper back pain, flex your neck by turning your head both directions 10-15 times, and look up towards the ceiling for 15 seconds, as often as you can. This helps to reduce pain by keeping blood moving and keeping your range of motion healthy. It will also help to undo the forward head posture we get from looking down at our phones, and computers.
6. Put your feet on the floor. Keeping your feet on the floor increases muscular blood flow, and reduce muscle strain. It also keeps your body’s weight balanced through your hips which helps from the feet up!
7. Try the seated Figure 4 Stretch. When you’re sitting, your hips can get tight and your muscles actually become trained to stay tight. Once you stand up, these muscles will not be able to support you, and can cause pain in your lower back, hips and shoulders.
8. Lift your phone or book, up to your eye’s height. To help reduce upper back and neck pain, bring what you’re looking at, up to your eyes. This will help to reduce pain, but also to reduce eye strain and potentially even headaches!
9. When you’re driving, adjust your seat a little closer to your steering wheel. This helps reduce your upper back, shoulder and neck pain by shortening the distance your arms and shoulders have to reach forward and strain. It’s yet another simple trick, that works!
10. Choose a firm mattress. Any pain associated with posture can be helped by choosing a mattress that’s firm and supportive of your joints. Next time you’re mattress shopping, remember this easy tip that will serve you for the entire life of the mattress, and for your entire life, too!
There you have it, ten easy ways to help you improve your posture, and reduce your pain. If you’re feeling like you need a little more help, or if you’re recovering from an old injury that gets in the way of improving your posture, contact True Balance Pain Relief for a little more support. I look forward to helping you feel your best, every day!