As a child, my grandmother used to always tell me “stand up straight, shoulders back, head forward.” I just thought she was being strict and well, just grandma. Little did I know that she would be saving me from a world of pain later in life.

Poor posture will not only harm your neck but it can also cause damage to your whole spinal system. Many times, we see people with their head down, leaning forward, with shoulders crouched, usually looking at their cellphone. This posture will later result in irritation of the small joints and muscles within the neck. It can cause small tissue damage and stiffness and irritation within the neck area, as well as shoulder and back pain.

Poor posture can also cause extreme tenderness, limited range of motion, disc degeneration, and osteoarthritis. When poor posture habits push the head in front of the neck, additional stress is placed on the vertebrae and the muscles of the upper back, shoulders and neck can become overextended or overworked.

By maintaining correct posture in your younger years, you can help to save yourself from years of pain and discomfort as time progresses. And if you fall into the category of poor posture, taking the steps to correct it now will help to reverse or reduce some of the damage done.

To ensure you are using correct posture, follow these tips below:

  • Always align your back against the back of your chair. If you are standing, make sure that you are standing as if your back was against a wall.
  • Avoid slumping your shoulders forward, to keep from straining your neck. Keep your head above your shoulders at all times.
  • While sitting, your arms should be at a 75 to 90 degree angle if sitting at a desk, with the angle at your elbows.
  • If you are sitting you should also keep your knees even with your hips, or even slightly higher, with both feet on the floor. Crossing your legs or putting pressure just on one foot can affect your body pain.
  • Throughout the day try to perform a few back and posture strengthening exercises. These exercises will help you straighten up when you begin to slouch in your chair at work.

Especially if you already suffer from back and neck pain, posture is important. By changing the way you hold yourself and support your neck and spine, can help to relieve your discomfort.