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5 Posture Mistakes That Hurt Your Back, Knees, and Hips

back pain hip pain knee pain pain relief posture

Standing, walking, sitting, bending, and sleeping postures all have room for errors.  Saying “sitting is bad for you” is not necessarily true!  Any posture that is done INCORRECTLY is bad for you.  And a posture done correctly is just fine!  Here are the 5 things to watch out for in all of the main postures if you want to prevent lower back, hip, or knee problems.  


When you’re standing, ideally, your knees are slightly bent, your core is lightly engaged, and your back is straight.  If your pain gets worse when you’re standing a lot, you may want to pay more attention to how relaxed your knees are when you stand. Relaxed knees allow your hips to be more flexible too.  


As you start to walk, your legs and glutes (butt muscles) should be pushing you forward.  The major mistake people make with their walking posture is just picking their feet up and putting them down, not actively pushing forward.  This can lead to foot, ankle, and knee problems. 


Sitting posture, the most maligned in our culture, many things can go wrong in the upper back, shoulders, and neck, but let’s focus for now just on the lower body.  Not rotating your hips forward is something that can lead to bulging or herniating discs.  The discs at L4, L5 in your lower back are triangular-shaped.  Sitting with a anteverted pelvis (like a bowl tilting forward), allows the spine’s natural shape to take place, and prevents injury.  From there, stack the rest of your spine straight.  


With bending over or lifting objects, the core engagement, which is really the ribs pulling in tight, as if you’re doing a crunch, is necessary to protect your lower back.  This rib tuck allows your lower back to relax.  Tense muscles get hurt!  Also, you may have to bend your legs, but if you’re flexible, that’s not necessary. 


A lot of people think that their sleeping posture is the cause of their joint pains.   Before you shut your eyes, give a nice big stretch to straighten out your back.  Use pillows under your knees or hips to keep the alignment.  

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