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It’s easy to pinpoint the cause of back pain when something like an accident has occurred, but most people overlook the fact that many aches and pains can be caused by poor posture. Learn how this bad habit can lead to discomfort or injury and how one can maintain a healthier spine.

What Poor Posture Can Do

Slouching in a chair, hunching over while walking, looking down at a phone, and lying on one’s stomach while reading or working are all examples of poor posture. These positions can add extra pressure on the muscles, spinal joints, and discs. Over time, this can cause muscles to weaken and become strained, resulting in stiff neck or back pain. Bending the spine repeatedly or excessively in these positions can cause bulging or herniated discs, which are very painful and often require chiropractic care.

Practice Correct Posture

One of the most effective ways to help prevent back pain is to make a habit of using the correct posture. Remember, it takes 21 days to form a habit, so stay vigilant. When walking, be sure to look straight ahead and keep your shoulders back but relaxed. Make sure the back is supported when sitting, either by an ergonomic chair or by placing a rolled-up towel between the small of the back and the chair. Feet should be flat on the floor, head straight, shoulders back but relaxed, and elbows bent at a 75 to 95-degree angle. When sleeping or lying down, try to lay on one side or the back. Ensure the neck is supported and comfortable but not overextended. Place a pillow between the knees to align the hips.

Add Movement

Another way to help decrease stiffness and manage pain is to increase blood flow to the area with movement. Whether standing, sitting, or laying down, be sure to change positions frequently. If working at a desk, a good rule of thumb is to get up and move for a few minutes once every hour. Stretch or perform simple yoga poses to help relax muscles and prevent damage.

One fundamentally important way to prevent or ease back pain is to visit a chiropractor regularly. The doctors at Tracy Chiropractic have been helping patients suffering from discomfort and injury in the Tracy area since 2007. Contact us to find out more about alleviating pain and maintaining a healthy spine.