Posture Priorities - 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Back

Your back is a pretty important part of your body — it boasts the largest muscles, it lends the ability to twist and bend over, and it helps out in a slew of everyday tasks, such as carrying a heavy load of groceries. Unfortunately, back pain is one of the most common ailments, affecting 8 out of 10 Americans in their lifetime. The good news? There are plenty of strategies you can take to care for your back.

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Follow these tips for improving your posture, alleviating pain and also warding off any potential problems down the line.

Posture Priorities - 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Back: eAskme
Posture Priorities - 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Back: eAskme

Choose supportive shoes

There’s no reason why you have to ditch the pumps completely, but you definitely don’t want to be slipping them on every day. Shoes with a higher heel throw your body off balance, causing your lower back and hips to flex forward. That lean forward takes your spine out of alignment and puts extra strain on your back muscles. So save the stilettos and platforms for special occasions, and for everyday wear, opt for flats, boots and low wedges that provide arch support. When you do wear higher heels, make sure to stretch your calf and leg muscles before and after. And remember that the slope of the footbed matters more than the height of the heel:

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A platform is helpful because it lessens the angle between your heel and the ball of your foot, more evenly distributing the weight. Dr. Scholls makes orthotic inserts that you can also apply to any pair of shoes. Each insole boasts three layers of shock-absorbing, feet-supporting cushioning, which helps to minimize back pain.

Prioritize strength training

Posture Priorities - 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Back

Stronger back muscles reduce your chance of injury, poor posture and pain. So, which exercises will help achieve that? Yoga and Pilates are top picks because they target your torso (both your back and core), improving your mobility in that area while stretching the spine. Swimming and rowing machines are also excellent choices for strengthening the muscles in your back. There are back exercises you can do with dumbbells and barbells, such as deadlifts and bent-over rows. If you sit at an office desk all day hunched over at a computer, it’s especially crucial to focus on these kinds of exercises.

Try a posture bra

One of the most common issues that women with large breasts suffer from is poor posture and back pain. And it’s no surprise, given that a pair of D-cups weighs between 15 and 23 pounds. That much weight on your back can lead to slouching, which is why you may need a little extra support. Enter a miracle garment: the posture bra. This particular style is designed with a larger, supportive band that takes more of the weight of your breasts, offering some relief for your back and shoulders.



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Look for a posture bra that has separated cups, which can evenly distribute the weight across your chest, as well as one with a center gore (panel) that’s on the taller side, which lends some extra support and lift. Extra wide lined straps are ideal for added comfort on your shoulders as well. Keep in mind that the band is what offers the majority of the support on your bra, so it’s crucial to ensure you’re wearing the correct size to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your back and shoulders.

Sleep smarter

Posture Priorities - 5 Ways to Take Care of Your Back

Did you know that the position you sleep in can have a major impact on your posture and back health? The key is allowing your spine to maintain its natural curve, which means laying on your back or your side. You may find that having a pillow behind your knees will make sleeping on your back more comfortable while having one in between your knees will help when you’re sleeping on your side. Sleeping on your stomach isn’t ideal as it flattens your spine and causes strain on your lower back. If this is the only position you can catch some Z’s in, slip a pillow under your pelvis and lower abs to keep your spine’s curve. Wedged pillows can lend some instant support where you need it. It’s worth noting, too, that medium-firm mattresses are ideal for preventing or alleviating back pain because they provide optimal support while also allowing some give for hips and shoulders to sink a bit.

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Be mindful with mobile devices

All that time staring down at your smartphone, tablet, etc. can cause some serious issues for your back down the line. One study published in Surgical Technology International revealed that the more your head tilts forward, the more your head weighs (thus causing more strain) — at a 45-degree angle, that strain equals a whopping 49 pounds. This excess strain is harmful to the structures in your upper back, spine, and neck. To keep your back safe, try to avoid using these devices for extended periods of time (it’s better to use a laptop or desktop computer whenever possible), and always raise the screen to eye level instead of bending your neck to look down at it.

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