Use correct sitting posture to improve spine health

Correct sitting posture is critical for long-term spine health. The parts of the spine are extremely resilient, but years of sitting slumped in a chair or slouched over a steering wheel can speed up the natural degeneration that comes with age. This is particularly true in the cervical (upper) and lumbar (lower) 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 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. Everyone experiences 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 a spinal disc or joint, which is why following these tips can help promote the long-term health of your spine:

  • 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, gently stretch your back.

When correct sitting posture is not enough

Patients diagnosed with a degenerative spine condition can often find lasting relief resorting to surgery, especially by making life decisions like maintaining a healthy weight and practicing proper posture. However, if a healthy lifestyle combined with conservative treatments like pain medication and physical therapy have been exhausted without bringing you the relief necessary for a good quality of life, spine surgery can become an option. As you explore your surgical options, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about the advantages our minimally invasive spine surgery can offer.

Our dedicated team can help you receive a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our outpatient procedures.