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Back Care Awareness Week – Tips for improving posture & reducing back pain

A quarter of all children will complain of back or neck pain regularly. This is often due to poor posture, or carrying heavy school bags. If we can encourage them to look after their backs now, then they will be less likely to experience back problems in the future.

Children benefit from the fact that generally they heal faster than adults and that they are naturally more active. However it is important for them to learn how to maintain a good posture to reduce the load on their backs and to carry and lift with care.

Tips for maintaining good posture

If you can encourage your children to think about their posture, they will learn to adjust and to adopt a healthier approach to their back.

  • Sitting
    • When watching TV, or sitting at a table
      • Make sure your bottom is right to the back of the chair
      • Allow your back to gently curve (if necessary pop a cushion between your back and the back of the chair).
      • Ensure you are not twisted.
      • Sit upright with your shoulders back
      • Don’t let your head or shoulders roll forward
      • Your eyes should be able to focus on the horizon
  • Standing
    • Stand up straight.
    • Focus on the horizon not what is on the floor or surface in front of you, this will ensure your head stays upright and doesn’t drop forwards.
    • Your knees shoulder be relaxed, not locked back
    • Tuck your tummy in and roll your bottom under slightly
    • Relax your shoulder and let them roll back with your hands at your side.

Postural tips for using electronic devices

You have done it and you have seen your children do it, sitting there for hours on end hunched over a keyboard (back hunched, chin jutting out) or phone (back hunched and chin tucked in), you know how it feels when your mid back begins to ache and your neck feels stiff. To help reduce the aches and pains with hunchback or text neck try these tips

  • Consider how you are using the device
    • Watching a film – place the device on a flat surface so that it is upright like a TV screen
    • Reading – hold it like a book at a 30 degree angle
    • Typing emails, texts etc – use it like you would use a PC where ever possible
      • If possible attach it to a remote key board via Bluetooth or a cable
    • Remember to sit correctly, don’t slump, or drop your head and roll your shoulders forwards
    • Consider using a tablet or phone stand that allows you to adjust the angle and holds the device for you
    • Change position or get up and look away from the device regularly.

As always the key thing is everything in moderation and get up and move regularly. If your children are experiencing pain or difficulty in maintaining a good posture consider giving us a call to discuss the problem or book online to help ease the pain #osteopathyworks.