(NewsUSA) - Remember how mom always reminded you about your posture? Turns out she was right.
Years of poor posture, we now know, puts undue pressure on the spine and supporting muscles and ligaments that can result in everything from back pain to muscle strain to degenerative arthritis. And many of us make things worse on a daily basis.
Research has found that common things like stress, obesity, incorrect posture while sleeping, walking and working, and -- yes, all you fashionistas out there -- wearing high-heeled shoes can contribute to poor posture.
And the back pain alone that often follows hurts us in more ways than one. "Americans spend at least $50 billion each year (seeking relief from) back pain," notes the not-for-profit Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. "And it's one of the most common reasons for missed work."
If you just read those stats while seated, here's a quick checklist to see if you're maintaining the correct posture:
* Relax shoulders and keep forearms parallel to the ground when working at a keyboard.
* Don't cross your legs.
* Use a footrest if your feet don't reach the floor.
For those who are past the checklist stage, know that the federal Agency for Health Care Policy and Research almost twenty years ago recommended spinal manipulation provided by a doctor of chiropractic as a "safe and effective, drugless" treatment for sufferers of low back pain.
"Old habits die hard," says Ron Kirk, DC, an avid supporter of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and founder of Straighten Up America (straightenupamerica.org). "But a doctor of chiropractic can recommend exercises to strengthen core postural muscles and can help you choose proper postures to reduce your risk of injury during activities."
For more information, visit www.yes2chiropractic.org.
Watch a related video at http://youtu.be/ye/ynGfJhUtalw.