Examining Your Posture
- If you have bad posture, you probably don't think about it. However, before correcting bad posture you need to first discover which parts of your posture need help. Decide the areas where your posture needs the most improvement by asking yourself questions such as whether your shoulders are slumped. You can also have someone else point out your posture.
Correcting Bad Posture
- Besides slumped shoulders, bad posture involves the head facing down. It's locked knees, placing excessive stress on the spine. On the other hand, good posture involves straightening your back and lifting your chest, as well as rolling back your shoulders and rotating your pelvis with the stomach and behind tucked in. Good posture is aligning the body so all the parts are balanced, besides being supported to prevent stress. For good posture, stand with feet slightly apart. Keep your knees straight and your shoulders back.
Correcting Neck Pain
- The first step to easing neck pain is correcting bad neck posture. Consider how you carry your head. Do you lean it forward? If so, you're adding extra stress on your neck, as your head's weight is increased by 10 pounds for every inch your head goes forward (see Resources). Therefore, if you lean forward by only 2 inches, you're adding 20 extra pounds of head weight to your neck. Even worse, whenever spinal tissues are subjected to excessive pressure, they can deform and remodel, causing permanent changes. That's why it takes time to correct the problem.
- Neck exercises geared for better neck control are a good way to begin correcting neck muscles, which have grown weak. Take breaks from computer work, doing neck exercises. Pulling your head above your shoulders, squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back.
- Besides exercises targeted to improve neck pain, other treatments include mental relaxation and meditation, which help relieve tensed muscles, helping you do exercises for correcting posture problems. Some people have found yoga and Pilates effective in strengthening muscles for better posture and improving sore necks. When driving or sitting as a passenger in a car, use a back support pillow. When the back is supported, the head and neck are able to move back over the shoulders.
Checking Shoes and Backpacks
- Choose shoes and backpacks that give good support. For example, avoid high heels, which place pressure on the lower back. Often people suffer from neck problems because of poorly designed and heavy backpacks. Many backpacks are made to force the head to move forward because of too much weight in the back. Ensure that you or your children have properly designed backpacks that distribute weight consistently, avoiding strain that causes bad neck posture and pain.
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