Proper Back Posture (Neutral Spine)

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Proper Back Posture (Neutral Spine)

Topic Overview

Improper posture, especially when walking, puts increased stress on your back and causes discomfort and damage. 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. Although there is much natural variation from person to person, too much curve ("swayback") or too little curve ("flat back") can result in problems. The right amount of curve is called the neutral position. See a picture of the spine showing the natural curves.

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Robert B. Keller, MD - Orthopedics
Last Revised July 21, 2010

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