Bad posture leads to back, neck pain - see prevention tips


FHP stands for forward head posture. It's the most common form of poor posture. Experts say there is a direct association between neck and shoulder pain, even TMJ - a jaw dysfunction that can be alleviated by getting our alignment in order.

Slouching affects the chest and back. Postural muscles in our back stress on ligaments, over-stretching the upper back while shortening the chest and creating an imbalance. If the upper back is weak and the chest is tight, that's a recipe for pain.

If you are on the computer, here are the key rules:

  • Keep your eyes level with the top portion of the monitor
  • Keep your shoulders back and relaxed with your elbows resting at the side, either on a desk or on a chair.
  • Your thighs and forearms should be perpendicular to the floor with your feet planted on the ground.
  • Your monitor should be 18 to 30 inches away from your head
  • Take movement and blink breaks every 15 minutes.

You would be so surprised the relief your body will get by one simple move: Stand up and stretch by taking your arm up and around the back of your body, which will open your chest and lightly strengthen your back.

In addition, add this move to your day: If you're coming around a corner, put your arm in a right angle and put it against the wall. Then turn your neck and head away. This will stretch your chest, shoulder and neck. You've got nothing to lose except for a little pain.

For more information, grab "The New Rules of Posture - How to Sit, Stand, and Move in the Modern World" by Mary Bond.

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