Proper Back Posture (Neutral Spine)

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Topic Overview

Improper posture may put too much stress on your back and neck. The key to good back posture is to keep the right amount of curve in your lower back. A healthy back has three natural front-to-back curves that give the spine an "S" shape. Too much curve (swayback) or too little curve (flat back) can result in problems. The right amount of curve is called the neutral position.

"Good posture" generally means your ears, shoulders, and hips are in a straight line. Think about your posture, whether you are sitting or standing. Slumping or slouching alone may not cause low back pain. But after the back has been strained or injured, bad posture can make pain worse.

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ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics

Current as ofMay 22, 2015