One of the easier ways you can promote back health is by taking the time to verify that your posture is as straight as it should be. For some, this is more difficult than it is for others and takes a concerted effort to ensure that no slouching or unnecessary bending is taking place. A new report offers some tips on ensuring that your spine is straight.
There are two ways that the author says you can check to see if your posture is where it needs to be to encourage back health. One of them requires you to position yourself flush against a wall.
Once you’re in that position, standing as straight as you can possibly be, look down at your feet and extend your heels to around six inches from the wall, making sure to keep your back and neck straight against the wall’s surface. At this point, you or a friend can measure how far your lower back and the base of your neck are from the wall.
Your lower back and your neck should be within two inches from the wall. If your lower back is within an inch of the wall, that’s even better. If this isn’t the case, then your posture could be ripe for improvement.
The other method for testing your posture doesn’t require measurement so much as it simply requires that you are able to make an honest assessment of your stance while looking in a mirror. You’re basically looking for symmetry. While standing straight, figure out if your head tilts in one direction or your shoulder appears to be at different heights. The same goes for your hips.
Ideally, you’re going to want your spine to be as straight as possible, as evidenced by each individual part of your spine lining up in a perfect vertical row. You should also be able to trace a straight line from the area in the direct center of your ankles all the way through to the center of your sternum and on to your chin and up to your nose.
If this type of posture remains elusive, there are still a few steps you can take to stave off further spinal injury. Start by paying attention to those areas you spend the most time. Increase the firmness of your mattress where you sleep every night. Invest in a better chair at your office if you have a rather sedentary job.
From there, pay attention to all those other areas of your life. Adjust your diet if need be, as the less weight on your frame, the less weight for your spine to support. Get an ample amount of exercise and keep a close watch on any injuries. Seek treatment if need be. If that treatment takes the form of a spinal fusion, then learn more about the procedure by watching our spinal fusion surgery video.