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Man with bad posture while quarantining at home.

Watch Your Posture While Quarantining

While many of us are working from home and living a new reality in quarantine, one thing that can slip your mind is practicing good posture. It’s easy to forget about this important habit, especially if you’re spending more time in the comfort of your own home. 

The experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers are here to remind you that good posture is important for overall health and happiness. Here are some tips we’ve curated to help you watch your posture while quarantining.

How to Watch Your Posture While Quarantining

  • Get a Comfortable Office Chair: If working from home has become part of your normal routine, now is good time to start focusing about your posture. Our first recommendation is to make sure your home office as a high-quality office chair. Chairs in bad condition are not helpful for posture improvement. Take the time to find one that will be comfortable for you and also maintain your proper posture. 
  • Don’t Forget to Exercise: While it can be tempting not to stay active while you’re working from home, it’s important to keep up an active lifestyle. It improves your well-being and helps with your posture too. Also, remember to stretch! Stretching will improve your muscle flexibility and also help correct any posture issues. If you need tips on how to keep active during quarantine, read this blog from our experts
  • Keep Your Posture at the Forefront of Your Mind: Feeling pain in your back might be a sign you need to improve your posture. However, you might not feel back pain and need to actively try to keep it on the top of mind. Make it a personal goal to try and better your posture. Schedule daily checks to see how you’re sitting and consider putting a mirror nearby to notice your reflection from time to time. 

If you have any questions about improving your posture while quarantining, Alliance Spine and Pain is here to help. Reach out to any of our pain care specialists by clicking here or by giving us a call at 770-929-9033.

Asian woman wake up on bed stretching her neck relaxing in morning, thinking about sleep posture.

How Your Sleeping Posture Affects You

You think about your posture when you’re sitting at work and when you’re about to go on a run. But did you know your sleeping posture is equally just as important? While you can’t actively think about the posture when you’re in the middle of sleeping, there are several steps you can take to ensure that what you do to your body as you rest won’t hurt your spine later on.

If you wake up sore or with back pain after you’ve been sleeping, keep reading below to learn the best and worst sleeping postures below.

Lying on your Back with Knee Support

Sleeping on your back is considered the best sleeping position, especially when you have a small pillow or blanket underneath your knees for additional support. Doing so evenly distributes your weight throughout your entire body, eliminates pressure points, and ensures that your head, neck, and shoulders mimic the natural curve of your spine while you’re sleeping.

If you’re having pain in your back after waking up, try sleeping on your back to see how it feels. Though it’s considered the least popular sleeping position, with only about 8% of people sleeping this way, there are tons of other benefits aside from sleeping well. A decrease in acid reflux and less wrinkles are two additional benefits.

However, sleeping on your back will increase snoring, give you a higher chance of experiencing sleep paralysis, and can be dangerous for those who have sleep apnea.

Lying on your Side With a Pillow Between Your Knees

You need to make sure you sleep with a pillow in between your knees if you plan to sleep on your side, as this will create the natural alignment in your spine, hips, and pelvis. Make sure you don’t curve your knees, otherwise, you’ll disrupt the curve of your spine again.

In addition, sleeping in this position will give you less chance of snoring, helps with sleep apnea, and cools heartburn if you sleep on your left side. However, it can lead to additional wrinkles and potential spine pain if you’re not careful about your positioning.

Fetal Position

As one of the most popular sleeping positions, it’s a step above sleeping on your side since the knees are curved up to the chest with the back relatively straight.

This sleeping posture is particularly beneficial for relieving the pain of herniated discs, for pregnant women to alleviate pressure on their uterus, and also those who struggle with snoring.

Sleeping on Your Stomach

Unfortunately, this is the worst sleeping position you can sleep in. This is because sleeping on your stomach usually means you’re sleeping with your head turned to one side in addition to keeping your spine out of its neutral position. Sleeping this way also puts pressure on your stomach and the joints in that area. This can cause numbness, tingling, aches, and even irritated nerves.

However, the good news is that this position helps to prevent snoring. So if sleeping this way is necessary for you, sleep with two pillows stacked on top of each other so that you can breathe while keeping your neck flat, not turned to one side.

If you have any additional questions about how your sleeping position can be affecting your pain, click here to schedule an appointment with the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain.

Rear View Of A Businesswoman Sitting On Fitness Ball Stretching Her Arms, working on her work posture.

How Your Posture at Work Affects Your Health

If you work a desk job, you’ve likely struggled with maintaining a healthy posture throughout the day. When you’re engrossed in your work, you often don’t realize you’ve progressively slouched over your keyboard. In fact, it often takes a pinch of pain in your neck or back to alert you to this issue.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, bad posture is the major culprit behind back problems for over 80% of Americans.

Learn more about how your posture at work affects your health from the experts at Alliance Spine and Pain Centers.

What Effect Does Bad Posture Have?

Aside from overall pain and discomfort, bad posture can lead to multiple health and psychological issues.

  1. The most obvious negative physical side effect of bad posture while at work is soreness and pain in the back and shoulders. By holding your body in this unnatural position, it puts excess strain and tension on these areas.
  2. Slouching can also affect your pelvis. In particular, those who slouch often have issues with pelvic floor dysfunction, which later leads to urinary retention, pain during intercourse, and constipation.
  3. Similarly, poor posture can severely impact your digestive health. Stomach issues like acid reflux and heartburn can occur when slouched, as it means your abdomen is compressed and cannot do its job properly.
  4. Slouching all day while you work means you’re decreasing your flexibility and limiting your range of motion in your neck and back.
  5. A special kind of headache is caused by poor posture: cervicogenic headaches. They originate from pain in the neck and strain on the joints. If you start to have more headaches at the base of your head, posture could be the culprit.
  6. Bad posture even leaks into your self-confidence. Have you ever heard of power poses? Studies show that performing a power pose for several seconds before having to make a major decision, give a presentation, or do something stressful can increase a person’s level of confidence. When you slouch, you do the opposite of a power pose, meaning your self-esteem could be taking a major hit.

Tips for Improving Bad Posture at Work

After reviewing these negative side effects, you’re likely wondering what you can do to avoid them and improve your posture at work. We’ve got you covered with these tips from our expert medical team.

How Should You Be Sitting?

  • Start off by sitting at the end of your chair and slouch completely. Next, draw yourself up and lean into the curve of your back as far as possible. Then lean forward again just at about 10 degrees. That’s the position you should aim for.
  • A good rule of thumb is to keep your ears in line with your shoulders. Don’t lean too far forward or too far backward.
  • Your bottom should always be touching the back of your chair.
  • Don’t cross your legs. Keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • If possible, avoid sitting in the same position for 30 minutes. Getting up and stretching each half-hour is a great way to keep your posture in check.
  • Distribute your weight evenly at both hips.
  • Your spine shouldn’t be totally straight. Your lower back should be slightly curved as should your neck.
  • Position your work and your desk so that you can sit as close as possible and have your computers tilted up to you.
  • Remember to relax your shoulders from time to time. It’s easier to do this if you have your arms and elbows resting on your desk or chair arms.

Posture Correcting Exercises

If you’re feeling the pain of a bad slouch, try out these exercises to help ease the discomfort:

  • Lift your shoulders up and down.
  • Rotate your head slowly around in a full circle several times and then reverse your direction.
  • Slouch all the way forward so your spine is making a C shape. Do the opposite by sticking your chest out as far as it can go so your spine now has a sharp curve. Alternate and breath through each position.
  • Lift your arms above your head and clasp your hands together. From there, stretch to the left then the right.

If you’re experiencing back or neck paid for any reason, including your posture at work, know there are treatments available to help. Click here to schedule an appointment with Alliance Spine and Pain Centers today and start working towards the pain relief you deserve.