How Improving Your Posture Can Help You with Managing Your Upper-Back Pain

Posted on: 16 December 2016

Upper-back pain can range from annoying to debilitating. One way to help deal with the pain is by practicing good posture. You may not see results immediately, but you will over time. Here's what you need to know about posture and managing upper back pain.

The Difference Between Good Posture and Bad

Posture is the way you align your body when you're sitting, standing, or lying down. All three of those positions require your body to support itself. Upper-back pain can come from or become aggravated by poor posture.

Good posture means your body is aligned in such a way that all of your musculoskeletal system is working to keep your body safe from the stresses gravity puts on your body. Bad or poor posture occurs when all of that stress sits on only one part of your body. For upper back pain, that part is the neck and upper back.

Why You Should Work on Improving Your Posture

Improving posture can help to dampen pain by spreading the pressure out. That's because other parts of your body, not just your neck and upper back, will share some of the stress. Along with an overall pain-management plan, improving your posture can go a long way toward keeping your pain at bay.

In addition, more benefits come with good posture.

  • It decreases wear and tear on your joints
  • It decreases stress on ligaments
  • It decreases muscle fatigue

All of these things help to prevent overuse injuries, which helps keep your pain from developing further.

How to Work on Improving Your Posture

Many people grow accustomed to standing, sitting, or lying a certain way. Reversing improper posture habits is often a struggle. After some time, it's possible for your good posture to become a habit that replaces the bad. You will start to do this unconsciously, just as you stand, sit, and lie down with not-so-good posture now.

Sitting—Keep your feet on the floor, with your knees around the same level as your hips.

You shouldn't cross your legs. Your ankles should be in front of your knees. Your seat should support your lower back. If it doesn't, use a back support. Take breaks from sitting, especially if you have a job that requires you to sit for long periods.

Standing—Try to keep your weight on the balls of your feet, with your knees very slightly bent. Stand straight, with your shoulders pulled back. Do not push your head forward or back. Your earlobes should stay in line with your shoulders.

Lying—Sleep or lie on your side or back. You can lie on your stomach for small stretches, but you shouldn't sleep that way. Make use of your pillows for support. Keep one under your legs, or between your legs if you're lying on your side.

Having good posture will take some practice, but you will start noticing a difference. Speak to a professional about your upper-back pain. A chiropractor or physical therapist can help you figure out exercises and other things you can do to mitigate your back pain and improve your posture.