Advertisement

How does posture affect the spine?

Gerald M. Silverman
Chiropractic Medicine
Posture and positioning are important factors you must pay attention to when it comes to spinal hygiene. They play a vital role in everything you do, including standing, sitting, sleeping, and lifting. Your spine is designed around three basic curves that maximize the mechanical advantages for weight bearing and distribution. These curves act like arches in bridge construction, transferring the loads and distributing the stress very efficiently. Looking at your spine from the side, there is a slight forward curve in your neck, a larger backward curve to the middle of your spine, and a second forward curve in the lower back. And while it's normal for the degree or size of these curves to vary from person to person, you should try to maintain good posture whenever possible.

If viewed from the side, in a good standing or sitting posture, the center of your head, the middle of your shoulders, and the center of your hips are in one straight line. This position reinforces the three spinal curves and reduces the structural strain on the muscles, joints, ligaments, and discs. The best way to achieve this position is by elevating your shoulders upward and backward directly over your hips, then raising your chin slightly so you are looking straight ahead.
Your Miraculous Back: A Step-By-Step Guide to Relieving Neck & Back Pain

More About this Book

Your Miraculous Back: A Step-By-Step Guide to Relieving Neck & Back Pain

Many of us complain about our 'bad back,' but this book argues that our backs are, without exception, amazing examples of bioengineering, capable of dramatic feats of strength, flexibility, and...

Continue Learning about Spine

What are the effects of pregnancy on the spine?
Rick OldermanRick Olderman
As the fetus develops during pregnancy, your belly grows farther out in front of you. To avoid t...
More Answers
What does spinal cord compression feel like?
Dr. Arya Nick Shamie, MDDr. Arya Nick Shamie, MD
One analogy that can be used to understand what spinal cord compression feels like is when people ar...
More Answers
How Can I Reduce Back Pain from a Slipped Disc?
How Can I Reduce Back Pain from a Slipped Disc?
What is the Benefit of Foam Rolling?
What is the Benefit of Foam Rolling?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.