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Portland chiropractor offers some straight talk about proper posture

Proper ergonomics can improve posture, and reduce pain.
Proper ergonomics can improve posture, and reduce pain.
Photo by Adam Berry/Getty Images

Having poor posture can be a sign that one’s spine is out of line, and can often lead to increased lumbar and cervical compression warns Portland Chiropractor Dr. Samantha Stuart of Portland, Oregon, who notes that this can have serious repercussions for overall health and well-being, both physically and mentally.

“The spine forms the body's core foundation. Poor spinal alignment is a contributing factor to poor posture, and vice versa, she stated. "When the spine is out of alignment, it is harder for patients to practice proper posture. In addition, a misalignment in the spine impacts the entire body, increasing the risk for pain and injury. Not only can it cause pressure on internal organs, it can also affect the central nervous system.”

To prevent this, Dr. Stuart recommends some simple ergonomic changes (described as the science of using objects in ways to safely improve an individual’s environment) such as repositioning an office, chair, adjusting desk height as well as the placement of a computer keyboard on a desk, and even adjusting bed pillows to provide better cushioning while sleeping as simple ways to prevent and/or manage chronic back and neck pain. She also advises periodic chiropractic care, which can “make a big difference in preventing future health problems.”

"Side sleepers who are experiencing lower back pain should place a pillow between their legs," Doing so realigns the spine and prevents compression. The same goes for adjusting the height of an office chair or repositioning a computer screen or keyboard. These are simple changes, but they can have a significant impact for relieving chronic pain and improving quality of life," she stated.

"I always talk to patients about how their office is set up, what their daily habits are, or how they sleep at night," said Dr. Stuart. "Little changes make a difference."