An important part of your image is your ability to stand or walk erect and with confidence. This can only be done with ease if you have very little back pain.
Anyone who has experienced severe back pain knows the agony that brings and how your body automatically responds to give you support. Instead of being able to stand or walk with a good posture, your back is more likely to curve in to try to create relief from the pain and distress on your spine.
The following 3 tips are designed to protect your back and keep it pain-free, thereby allowing you to maintain a good posture:
1) Shoes that help posture: Research done by Pennsylvania State University found that high heels caused the lower-back muscles in women to tighten and the higher the heels were, the worse it became because “your center of gravity shifts forward, so you lean backward to compensate. This compresses the joints and lower back.”
Recommendation: Try to wear heels that are one inch or less, but if that’s not possible, perhaps because of your job, bring flats and switch into them when possible during the day.
2) Crossing Your Legs When You Sit: It’s very natural for many of us to cross our legs as soon as we sit. But according to Evan Johnson, assistant professor of clinical physical therapy at Columbia University, when you cross your legs it relaxes the muscles of your back and abdomen.
However, the area that being relaxed ‘forms a natural corset that would be normally supporting your spine’. Because this ‘corset’ is removed, the spine now supports itself on other muscles and ligaments that are not designed for that task. Over time this will cause your back to go out at the slightest strain. This is perhaps why a simple thing like bending over to pick up an item could result in excruciating pain and immobility.
Recommendation: If you’ll be sitting for long periods of time, work at keeping both feet on the floor, with your hips slightly higher than your knees. You may find that placing a thin pillow behind the small of your back helps to give you support.
3) How Heavy is Your Purse or Handbag? A doctor at Baylor University Medical Center in Garland, Texas said that when women complain of backaches, neck aches, and headaches, she weighs their purses and often finds that the purses weigh between 7 and 10 pounds. She notes that carrying around a bag of that weight throws your back out of alignment and puts extra stress on the neck, upper back, and shoulders.
Recommendation: It’s recommended that you use a shoulder bag or a messenger-style bag to distribute the weight more evenly across your shoulders. The do something that most of us women struggle with: Remove all unnecessary items from your purse and carry only the bare essentials. Dr. Sadler recommends ” a small wallet, cell phone, one lipstick, some compressed powder (of course) or a few tissues.”
It’s important to focus on protecting your spine and your back. While you may take these for granted, when your spine is out of alignment and your back aches, these will rob you of enjoying good health and will prevent you from projecting a confident image.