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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Back Safety: Poor Posture HurtsSeguridad de la espalda: La mala postura es perjudicial

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Slouching (flexion) puts pressure on the disk.
Back Safety: Poor Posture Hurts

An unhealthy spine often starts with bad habits. Poor movement patterns and posture problems are common causes of back pain. Disk, bone, nerve, and soft tissue problems can all be affected by poor posture. They can lead to pain, stiffness, and other symptoms.

Poor Posture Backfires

Poor posture can cause pain. Too much slouching puts pressure on the disk. An excessive lumbar curve can overload and inflame the vertebrae. As a result, the back muscles may tighten or spasm to "splint" and protect the spine. This adds to the pain you feel.

Proper Posture: The Key to Safe Movement
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An excessive lumbar curve (extension) harms the vertebrae.

Your spine bears your weight throughout the day. This is true whether you're sleeping, standing, or bending. Certain positions strain your spine more than others. But by maintaining proper posture in all positions, you can reduce the stress on your spine. 

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To improve your standing posture, follow these steps:

  • Breathe deeply.

  • Relax your shoulders, hips, and ankles.

  • Think of the ears, shoulders, hips, and ankles as a series of dots. Now, adjust your body to connect the dots in a straight line.

  • Tuck your buttocks in just a bit if you need to.

Publication Source: The Cleveland Clinic

Online Source: The Cleveland Clinic

Date Last Reviewed: 2007-01-15T00:00:00-07:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00