Begin your back care regime with a look at your posture. A shapely rear view starts with a back that is aligned and supportive, not one with rounded, drooping shoulders.
Sometimes you may feel you have the weight of the world on your shoulders, and indeed you do – because we defy gravity every single moment of the day! But you don’t have to let it show. Run through our check list and see how to help your back look and feel better.
Start by adjusting your standing posture. Stand straight, with your feet slightly apart. Lift you head and lengthen your spine – you know, just like you do in a pilates class – keep your chin, shoulders and back down. This should lift and stretch your body, making it feel lighter. Tuck your bottom under and tilt your pelvis slightly forward – it’s a trick models use to flatten stomachs and trim the bottom. If you check your posture in the mirror you should look slimmer already.
Also be posture aware when walking. If carrying bags it will soon deteriorate. If you carry heavy shopping, balance yourself out with bags of similar weight in each hand. Shoulder bags, especially large tote bags, are posture killers when over filled, throwing us to one side and putting us off balance. A back pack is the perfect answer.
If you spend all day sitting at a desk, make sure you are sitting properly, with your body creating two right angles, one at your hips and the other at your knees. Sit squarely on your bottom with your lower back well supported.
If your chair doesn’t support your lower back, ask for a new one! It’s vital part of office equipment and should work for you. If your chair fails to give you the support you need, roll up a small towel or get a firm cushion and tuck it behind the small of your back. You’ll feel the difference. It’s a bad idea to sit with your legs crossed for more than 15 minutes at a time as it stretches muscles on one side of the back, throwing your body out of alignment, encouraging back problems.
Sit as close to your desk as possible. This prevents slouching. Make sure your keyboard is at the correct height – too high and you’ll hunch your shoulders creating tension and stress, to low and you’ll crouch and develop round shoulders. Armless chairs are best for office work, arms often prevent you getting close enough to a desk.
Always position your monitor at eye level to prevent repeatedly looking up and down as that can cause neck pain.
If your daily routine leads you to stand for long periods, then your back is at risk. Perform several shoulder rolls every hour to relieve tension.
No matter if you sit or stand for most of your day, taking a brisk walk during breaks or participating in gentle exercise everyday, pilates or yoga are particularly helpful, will help you to maintain good back health.
Liz Lindford BSc,D.C. M.M.C.A. M.C.C.
Liz, our resident chiropractor is available for appointments on Mondays and Thursday from 10.00am - 6.00pm and Fridays from 9.00am until 1.00pm.
New patient consultations £60. | Follow appointments £44.
Contact reception to book or message Liz on 07767 658743