If you have in the past suffered from back, neck and/or joint pain, you know how debilitating and frustrating it can be. Chances are most of us at one time or another have had to deal with some type of back pain. Did you know that in many cases this pain could be helped through improved posture? The benefits of good posture are much more than cosmetic and may be among the best kept secrets of the current fitness movement.

I spoke about this topic with a friend of mine, Diane Baggs, who works at Joint Effort Rehab, LLC. She gave me some wonderful information to pass on to you. The first step to improving posture is to identify what needs improvement by examining ones own posture throughout the day, such as when sitting in an office chair, carrying objects, or standing in line. At regular intervals throughout the day, take a moment to make a mental note of posture and back support. For instance, as you sit reading this letter, what does your posture look like? Are you sitting up or slouching? Remembering to sit, stand, walk and move using correct posture will have long-term benefits and it will make you look like you’ve lost five pounds instantly.

The following are some tips on improving your posture:

  • When standing hold your head high, chin firmly forward, shoulders back, chest out, and stomach tucked in to increase your balance. If you stand all day in a job, rest one foot on a stool.
  • When sitting use a chair with firm low back support. Keep desk and table top elbow high, adjust the chair or use a footrest to keep pressure off the back of the legs and keep your knees a little higher than your hips. Get up and stretch frequently. Do not sit on a fat wallet.
  • When sitting in a car adjust the seat forward so your knees are higher than your hips.
  • When sleeping  sleep on your side with your knees bent and head supported by a pillow, to make your head level with your spine. Don’t sleep on your stomach.
  • When lifting let your legs do the work. Stand close to the object, then squat down and straddle it. Grasp the object and slowly lift by straightening your legs as you stand up.
  • When bending never twist from the waist and bend forward at the same time. Bend the knees while keeping the back straight.

If you follow these tips, but still feel discomfort and pain related to specific activities, I strongly suggest you visit my friend, Diane Baggs at Joint Effort Rehab. When I asked if I could promote their services, she agreed and generously offered you a free initial consultation. If you don’t know whether your insurance covers this type of service, Joint Effort Rehab will conduct a free review to inform you of your coverage. Just give them a call at 533-1318 to set up an appointment, or visit their website at https://www.jointeffortrehab.com/. Don’t forget to mention that I sent you, and feel free to share this information with your friends and family.