7 Simple Ways to Improve Posture and Relieve Back Pain

image via Beacon Hill Athletic Club

You’re in pain. Perhaps this pain stays in your lower back while you sit, spikes through your shoulders and neck when you turn your head or shoots up your side and down a leg when walking. Whatever the case, pain typically results from daily bad habits that lead to poor posture. To gain relief, consider making these seven simple lifestyle changes:

1. Use Ergonomic Chairs

Slouching causes life-long posture problems and associated pain. An ergonomic desk chair provides adjustable settings that place your body in an optimal vertical alignment. This position makes it possible for the seat to fully support your weight, your shoulders to relax with your arms parallel to the room floor at a slight downward and your feet to rest flat on the floor. Another popular solution is the standing desk which as you can see has quite a few benefits:

image via Sit 2 Stand Desks

2. Drive With Support

Modern bucket seats typically cause the lumbar spine to lose its “S” curve and related erosion of spinal joint discs. People with narrow bodies also deal with seat backs that wrap around them too much and force their shoulders into rolled forward positions. Invest in bucket seat body alignment devices so that you and your passengers can have an easier time maintaining correct posture on the road.

3. Protect Cervical Joints

Poor posture makes cervical spine joints prone to painful bulging discs and pinched nerves. Never bend your head up or down for long periods, especially if you wear eyeglasses. Corrective glasses promote head bending when wearers read and perform certain chores like washing dishes and preparing meals. Additionally, always move TVs and computer monitors into elevated positions that help you maintain a more natural vertical alignment.

image via Vezendy Chiropractic

4. Wear Appropriate Attire

Certain types of clothing and shoes correct posture. Beyond back braces, sports bras for women, especially reinforced ones for larger chests, keep the shoulders and back properly aligned and alleviate pulling from chest weight. Proper arch support and newer shoes help prevent uneven walking and leg misalignment that can force unnatural movements that cause muscle tension and pulling.

5. Ingest Anti-inflammatory Foods

Inflammation from eating certain foods increases pain. Many colorful fruits and vegetables that contain high antioxidants reduce pain. Regular consumption of tart cherry juice, for example, helps some people reduce arthritis pain. Schedule an appointment with a dietitian to create a list of anti-inflammatory foods customized to your age, specific health problems, medications and other factors.

6. Move the Shoulders

Frequent shoulder disuse causes muscle atrophy, frozen shoulders and related pain. Whether you’re sitting or standing, always move and stretch your shoulders. Talk with your doctor about exercises that you can do at home and work that build muscle and release tension.

7. Fix Tight Hip Flexors

Fixing tight hip flexors is typically one of the quickest solutions to the pain. A sedentary lifestyle make hip muscles that help you flex to bend and walk become short from disuse, tighten and then pull on surrounding tissues.

image via Pinterest

As you can see, tight hip flexors really affect your entire posture. Which not only lead to back pain, but pain in your legs, lower back, hips and a whole host of other problems. The hips are at the center of your body’s movement. So if you fix your hips if everything else falls into place. Here’s what the leading Kinesiologist and Injury Specialist recommends.

5 Ways To Prevent Shoulder Pain From Bench Pressing