POSTURE Your Spine

A common risk factor contributing to back pain is poor posture. At Atlantic Physical Therapy, we use postural education, in addition to other treatment methods to address back pain, including lower lumbar pain, cervical-spine and thoracic-spine pain.

Here are just a few tips to remember that may help prevent future back pain or aid in resolving back pain:

  1. Avoid sitting on soft surfaces, such as a couch or recliner, for prolonged periods. These surfaces cause the lower spine to “slouch” which places stress on lower lumbar segments and associated lumbar discs.
  2. Try sitting on firm surfaces that allow the trunk to be in an upright position. Place feet so that the hips are at a 90 degree angle.
  3. A small pillow or lumbar roll can assist in facilitating the natural curve of the spine. This should be placed between the upright portion of the chair and the small of the back.
  4. Keep shoulder blades in contact with upright surface of the chair.
  5. Maintain a “retracted” position of the cervical spine by keeping the ears positioned directly over the shoulders and the chin slightly tucked.
  6. If possible, the elbows should be rested on arm rests so that the shoulders are relaxed and not “shrugged” toward the ears.

If you are suffering from neck or back pain, talk to your doctor. Atlantic Physical Therapy may be the perfect start for helping you get back into shape!

Submitted by Lindsay Duryea, PT, DPT

Atlantic Physical Therapy, Ocean Pines, MD