Whatever the cause of low back pain, part of its treatment is the correction of faulty posture. But good posture is not simply a matter of "standing tall." It refers to correct use of the body at all times. In fact, for the body to function in the best of health it must be so used that no strain is put upon muscles, joints, bones and ligaments. To prevent low back pain, avoiding strain must become a way of life, practiced while lying, sitting, standing, walking, working and exercising. When body position is correct, internal organs have enough room to function normally and blood circulates more freely.
How to stay on your feet without tiring your back. To prevent strain and pain in everyday activities, it is restful to change from one task to another before fatigue sets in. Check body position frequently, drawing in the abdomen, flattening the back, bending knees slightly.
- Use of a footrest relieves swayback.
- Never bend over without bending the knees.
- Hold heavy objects close to you.
- Bend the knees and hips not the waist.
How to sit correctly. A back's best friend is a straight, hard chair. If you can't get the chair yourefer, learn to sit properly on whatever chair you get. To correct sitting position from forward slump, throw head well back, then bend it forward to pull in the chin. This will straighten the back. Now tighten abdominal muscles to raise the chest. Check position frequently.
- Relieve strain by sitting well forward, flatten back by tightening abdominal muscles and cross knees.
- Use of foot rest relieves swayback. Aim is to have knees higher than hips.
- Correct way to sit while driving, close to pedals. Use seat belt or hard backrest, available commercially.
- TV slump leads to "dowager's slump," strains neck and shoulders.
- If chair is too high swayback is increased
- Keep neck and back in as straight a line as possible with spine. Bend forward from hips.
- Driver's seat too far from pedals emphasizes curve in lower back.
- Strained reading position is when forward thrusting strains muscles of neck and head.