Correct Sitting Posture
Correct sitting posture is critical for long-term spine health. The anatomical components of the spine are extremely resilient, but years of sitting slumped in a chair or slouched over a steering wheel can exacerbate the natural degeneration that accompanies the aging process. This is particularly true in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine, both of which bear a great amount of upper body weight and are subjected to a wide range of stress-inducing movement. Eventually, years of wear and tear can lead to degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis, which can, in turn, produce painful nerve compression through the development of herniated discs or bone spurs.
How to use correct sitting posture to avoid back and neck pain
This isn’t to say that using correct posture while sitting is a lifetime guarantee against spinal nerve compression. Indeed, nearly everyone will experience some form of spinal degeneration at some point, although not every degenerative spine condition will produce symptoms. Still, prolonged improper posture can hasten the degeneration of an intervertebral disc or a vertebral joint, which is why it’s best to follow these steps for correct sitting posture:
- Back straight, shoulders back, buttocks touching back of the chair
- Weight distributed evenly between both hips
- Knees bent at a right angle, even with or slightly higher than the hips
- Feet flat on the floor
- Avoid sitting in the same position for longer than 30 minutes
It’s also important to pay attention to how you stand up from a sitting position. Rather than bending forward from the waist, move to the edge of the chair and rise by straightening your legs. If you feel any stiffness or the slightest hint of developing neck or back pain, stretch your back.
When correct sitting posture Is not enough
If chronic nerve compression symptoms develop despite your best effort at sitting correctly, talk to your physician about treatment options. Should pain medication, physical therapy or other conservative methods prove ineffective, contact Laser Spine Institute to determine whether you might be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.