Disc pressure in different postures
How Posture Affects Disc Pressure
Back pain is a leading cause of disability in America. A recent article in Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Journal, Vol. 26, No. 4, 2014), discussed back pain commonly seen in dentistry related to static postures. This picture provides a good visual of how even a slight change in posture can affect disc pressure, which can have a huge affect over time. More often Dentists are employing anterior (front) support devices which they lean into while working. This support will allow the back muscles to relax and takes pressure off the disc. The ideal seated posture is leaning back, into a chair back support, so your hip to back angle is 110 degrees.
Static Muscle Activity and Back Pain in Dentistry. Orthopaedic Physical Therapy Practice. Vol 26, No 4, 2014.
Good and Bad Posture: What it Looks Like
Signs of Good Posture
It’s essential to understand the concept of proper posture and be able to identify signs of poor posture. When standing, good posture can be recognized by the following aspects:
- Your shoulders align with your hips and feet.
- Your head and neck are in a neutral position, squarely positioned between your shoulders.
- Your core muscles are actively engaged.
- Your shoulders are pulled back and maintained in a neutral position.
Signs of Poor Posture
Identifying good posture may be challenging if you’re not accustomed to it. However, recognizing poor posture is relatively easier. Poor posture manifests when you:
- You slouch forward.
- You tilt your chin forward.
- You stick your buttocks out.
- You overarch your back.
- You walk as if you should be sitting down.
Once you grasp the concept of good posture and recognize the signs of poor posture, it becomes simpler to address the issue and make corrections.
How to Improve Your Posture
To enhance your posture and protect your spine, focus on these key steps:
- Strengthen your core: Regularly engage both your abdominal and back muscles through activities like yoga, swimming, or targeted exercises.
- Perform mental checks: Regularly assess your posture and make corrections when needed. Use visual cues like a sticky note on your computer screen to remind yourself to sit up straight, roll your shoulders back, and keep your feet grounded.
- Utilize ergonomic devices: If you spend long hours at a desk, take advantage of ergonomic tools such as lumbar support pillows, wrist rests, and screen lifts to optimize your posture and spinal health.
- Avoid slouching: Maintain proper posture by sitting with your shoulders above your hips, slightly leaning back, and using adjustable lumbar support or lumbar rolls for added back support.
- Take breaks: Stand or walk for a few minutes periodically to relieve pressure on your spine. Incorporate exercises that strengthen your core and consider weight loss if needed to reduce pressure on your discs.
- Adjust your work surface: Raise your work area to a suitable height, allowing you to stand upright with a natural spinal curve. Keep your shoulders back and aligned.
- Optimal positioning: When using a standing workstation, ensure your keyboard is at elbow height, with your forearms parallel to the floor. Raise your monitor to eye level to maintain a straight neck posture.
- Lift correctly: Bend from your hips, not your lower back, and use proper lifting techniques, such as lifting with your legs and keeping the weight close to your body.
By following these guidelines and prioritizing your back’s health, you can improve your posture and enjoy long-term benefits for your spine.
Need help correcting poor posture? Or, do you have a spinal injury that requires physical therapy? Click here to learn more.
Premier Physical Therapy – Omaha, NE
At Premier Physical Therapy in Omaha, NE, we stress consistent one-on-one patient care with the same physical therapist at every session. Whether you’re suffering from a workplace/work-comp injury, athletic rehab, chronic pain, joint problems, motor vehicle injury, or even if you want to lose weight, we know that keeping your body running smoothly is why you’re here.
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