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Back Posture and How to Eradicate Back Pain

Back pain can be really excruciatingly painful - and inhibit people from getting a good night's sleep, a necessity for them to maintain their health. Most people in North American will at some point have some form of back pain.

For some people in North America (33%) the back pain will be so severe it will cause chronic pain and conventional treatments will be useless to rid them of their pain.

There is however a solution: Posture exercises.

If you research the problem of chronic back pain in the USA and compare it to statistics in other regions of the world what you will discover is there are different regions in the world where back pain hardly exists. eg. One indigenous tribe in central India reported essentially none. Also, X-rays and studies of the discs in their spines showed little signs of degeneration as people aged. The entire tribe was apparently immune to back pain. This phenomenon is not limited to one tribe either, it can be found in many indigenous cultures where people are doing something special that many modern people are no longer doing.

So what are they doing differently?

Their posture when they are standing or sitting is the biggest difference. They stood in a manner that their spine made an elegant J-shape instead of a curved S-shaped spine like many Americans with back pain have.

In a J-shaped spine the back in straight and erect, and the buttocks curve outwards behind them. The S-shaped spine of people with chronic back pain causes them push their upper backs backwards into an unnatural position - often this is the result of trying to compensate for being overweight on the front and trying to compensate. This problem also goes hand-in-hand with having weak core muscles.

This J-shaped spine is not limited to specific cultures either, not historically at least. If you look at statues from Ancient Greece you will see they too had J-shaped spines.

In drawings from Leonardo da Vinci or a Gray's Anatomy book from 1901 you will see the spine isn't shaped like a sharp, curvy S. It's much flatter,and then at the bottom, it curves to stick the buttocks out. So the spine looks more like the letter J.

The J-shaped spine can be found in a lot of artwork dating back centuries. However in the 1900s something changed. People, especially in North America, started getting fatter, getting less exercise and developing poor posture. The combination of poor posture, lack of exercise and carrying too much weight puts a lot of stress on their spine - so much stress it causes pain so intense they cannot sleep properly.

Thus for people looking for a permanent fix to their back pain they need to think outside the box and start thinking POSTURE.

Five Stretching Exercises / Tips For Better Posture And Less Back Pain

Try these exercises while you're sitting at your desk, sitting at the dinner table or even just walking around.

#1. Do a shoulder roll

North Americans tend to scrunch their shoulders forward, so their arms are in front of their bodies. To fix that, gently pull your shoulders up, push them back and then let them drop - thus completing a shoulder roll. Now your arms should dangle by your side, with your thumbs pointing out. This creates the natural position for humans to hold their shoulders.

#2. Lengthen your spine

Being careful not to arch your back, take a deep breath in and grow tall. Then maintain that height as you exhale. Repeat: Breathe in, grow even taller and maintain that new height as you exhale. The exercises activates your core muscles and your spine goes into the more natural J-shape.

#3. Squeeze your glute muscles when you walk

In many indigenous cultures, people squeeze their gluteus medius (muscles near tailbone on your buttocks) muscles every time they take a step. It has a side benefit of creating a more shapely derrière as you are tightening the buttocks muscles every time you take a step - the muscle also keeps your buttocks more perky as you get older so you don't develop a saggy bottom.

#4. Don't put your chin up

Instead, add length to your neck by taking a lightweight object, like a bean bag or folded washcloth, and balance it on the top of your crown - or even just put both hands on top of your head. Next, try to push your head upwards against the object without tilting your chin upwards. The exercise lengthens the muscles on the back of your neck and allows your chin to angle down in a relaxed manner.

#5. Don't sit up straight!

Trying to sit up perfectly straight is just arching your back and deliberately making the S-shape you are not supposed to be doing. Instead do a shoulder roll to open up the chest and take a deep breath to stretch and lengthen the spine.

Thus a little bit of daily stretching and good posture will eradicate your chronic back pain. Happy stretching!

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