Understanding correct posture through the Neutral Spine Position
There are three natural curves in a healthy spine:
1. The neck or cervical spine curves gently inward.
2. The mid back, or thoracic spine, is curved outward.
3. The low back, or lumbar spine, also curves inward.
It is important to maintain the neutral alignment of these curves to assist with protecting the spine from excessive stress or strain.
These natural curves of the spine are caused by muscles, ligaments and tendons that are connected to the vertebrae of the spine. These structures support the spine which would collapse without them.
Research suggests that many problems with the back result from a combination of poor posture and body mechanics which create abnormal stress on the spine. This stress can eventually develop into structural changes in the spine which manifest as disc and joint degeneration, shortening or lengthening of support ligaments and muscles together with wear and tear on cartilage. All of these changes can lead to pain.
How to find your Neutral Spine
The three key points:
1. Head tilted slightly back with chin tucked in.
2. Shoulders to be down and back so the ear is aligned with shoulder joint.
3. Hip joint aligned with ear and shoulder.
Watch the video below by Stefan and Chris who explain how to achieve the correct sitting posture and how to train your body to remember it.
If you are working at a desk ensure your knees are at 90 degrees so they are aligned with hips. Your elbows should also be at 90 degrees if you are using keyboard or phone.
If you find yourself sat in the same position for long periods of time at work ensure you shift your body position every now and then or better still get up and walk around.
The change is worth it!
It may take some time to become confident that you have achieved your neutral alignment BUT If you can master maintaining a neutral spine and can retain the three natural curves of the spine as you move from one position to the next you will be closer to protecting your spine from unnecessary stress and strain.
“Good posture can take 10 years off your physical age!”