17 July 2019
Correct posture is a simple but very important way to help reduce back and neck pain. Photo: Reuters
Correct posture is a simple but very important way to help reduce back and neck pain. Photo: Reuters

Why it’s important to maintain good posture

People who suffer from excruciating pain tend to immediately resort to painkillers or complicated therapies.

What they do not know is that the solution can be as simple as having a proper posture, which is often neglected yet highly related to the health of the vertebral column.

One female patient who came to my clinic could not figure out why a health-conscious person like her who has a balanced diet and exercises regularly would get low back pain.

Much to her disbelief, her pelvis and lumbar were found to be dislocated in a detailed check-up and X-ray report.

Later she confessed to be sitting with her legs crossed since she was a teenage, which eventually led to vertebral subluxation.

Her chiropractor reminded her to correct her sitting posture but she blamed the bad habit on her weak willpower. It was not about her mental weakness really, but more about the way her body being used to a certain misalignment to feel good.

If she goes on sitting like that, what she is getting would not be just slight pain but rather more severe health hazards.

A lot of people know to sit properly is to keep the body up straight and not to tilt the head forward. However, many still naturally cross their legs once they are seated, which is bad for the vertebral column.

When both legs are crossed, the pelvis of the upper leg will be lifted, meaning if the right leg is over the left leg, the pelvis will tilt to the left, causing the lumbar to tilt forcefully to the right for balance.

If this practice goes on, different degree of pain will gradually develop. As a matter of fact, about 80 percent of low back pain patients are found in clinical reports to be crossing their legs habitually.

The majority of workers in Hong Kong are required to sit for long office hours, so maintaining good posture is crucial.

If you cannot tell which posture to be the best aside from not crossing the legs, or getting exhausted from sitting properly, try getting off the chair every 30 minutes for a cup of tea or a break to the lavatory.

Any posture can tighten and tire muscles if it is maintained for too long. The best way to fight off pain is to readjust the posture every 30 minutes.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on May 21

Translation by John Chui

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Registered chiropractor

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