Sports Medicine Tip: Pay Attention to Your Posture

by Jsantos, April 5, 2013

h1>Sports Medicine Tip: Pay Attention to Your Posture

We spend most of our lives with our bodies in the three basic positions. Sitting, standing and sleeping. Lets cover them one at a time.


If you were to take a surgery of people that suffer with pack pain, you would find that nearly everyone sits far too much. Sitting increases the pressure in the back nearly two times your bodyweight. So,if you are 120 pounds secretary, you

have about 240 pounds of pressure on your low back. Then, after sitting all day at work, you sit while driving home then you sit again for dinner. Now, your back is hurting badly, so you sit i front of the TV, slouched. Do that seven days a week, and you still wonder why you have back problems. Even after you saw your chiropractor for an adjustment, your massage therapist for a massage, your physical therapist for utrasound and heat, and finally, your physician for pills. It could not be more obvious. Do not sit so much without moving. If you can, at work take a few short breaks on the floor. Lie down and stretch; then hit the floor at night when you come home, instead of the couch.


As we stand during the day, the muscles of our back become fatigued or tired. Especially by the end of the day, we have a tendency to round or hunch forward. This poor posture out an unnecessary load on the low back, because the weight and leverage of the upper body rounding forward puts a constant stress on the low back.

When you are standing, do not lock your knees and round forward. Instead, spread our legs, and press forward with an arch in your low back. Lean on an arm if you can. It helps take some weight off the muscles of the back.

When you are lifting, it is important to  bend your knees, but it is equally important to keep the weight that you are lifting as close to your body as possible. Do not rotate or twist. Square off toward what you are going to lift. It does not take too much weight to cause injury.

Never reach out, lift and rotate. It is the easiest way to tear or rupture a disk, because of the forces and leverage on the small support ligaments of the spine. They just cannot take it. Prolonged standing with your weight shifted on one leg or another creates an uneven , lateral or side bending of the spine. This loads the tiny joints of the back of one side.

An example of this concept is a new mother. It is tough carrying a baby around without putting it on one hip, but try to switch sides often, keeping the baby close to you. Do not exaggerate the sway of your back by letting your tummy hang forward. If you stand on a hard surface like concrete all day, the cumulative effect of compression and the constant pounding and jarring of your spine when you walk with hard shoes is just another variable that can contribute to back pain.

Asses the surface and work place where you stand all day. If you can get away with wearing tennis or hiking shoes, do so. Nike Air shoes do an incredible job stabilizing the foot, and cushioning the impact on heel strike. Hundreds of possibilities exists nowadays from multiple brands. You can also use in soils like Dr. Schoils.


Do not sleep on your belly. Prolonged hyperextension from sleeping on your stomach causes the low back joints to jam together, and it”s definitely a reason for waking with pack pain. Try to sleep on your back with you knees bent; or if you sleep on your side and have a small waist, use a pillow under your waist to keep the plane of the spine horizontal with the bed. Do not be afraid to use lots of pillows around you. Not to prop you up, but to support you in an oblique or almost-on-your-side position.

Select a mattress that is not too firm but not too soft. Rotate and turn your mattress every couple of months; and if you cannot afford  a new mattress, use a piece of plywood between the mattress and the box spring for added support. We spend almost one third of our lives in bed, so if you wake up with pain, the first thing to do is to replace your existing mattress.

Surgeon’s Advice | Leon Mead MD Orthopedic Doctor | 730 Goodlette Road North, Suite 201  Naples Florida 34102 | Phone: (239) 262-1119


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