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Posture and Pain — and How to Improve

By August 31, 2018 No Comments

Do you wonder why you have a chronic pain (back, neck, hip, knee for example)?   

It often boils down to POSTURE, and REPETITION over TIME.

Our daily habits have a huge effect on posture.  Let’s take some well-known examples:

1.  Oh,  those cute, cute, high heels — look what they do our posture .   Has anyone put on some adorable shoes, waltzed into the party, started shuffling from foot to foot or finding excuses to sit down at some point, and limped out to the car at the end of the evening — maybe even taking those shoes off and going barefoot, thinking about throwing them in the trash?  (Pointing to self).   Well besides all that foot pain, with high heels,   we also increase the chances of knee and low back problems  .  My teacher Eric Franklin famously said in 2011 during class, that high heels place 2,000 pounds of pressure on the knee joint.  OUCH.

2.  Then of course, there’s our posture while at the desk or looking at that Smart Phone.   Poor posture can lead to neck pain .   “The neck is typically equipped to handle about 10 to 12 pounds of force . However, a 2016 study revealed that for every inch flexed down to look at a phone, the load of weight on the neck nearly doubles .”  Yay? (No not really).

You or others you know probably have complained of back pain from a desk job as well (I certainly had it while toiling for hours before discovering Pilates).     According to the Global Burden of Disease study, low back pain is the leading cause of disability across the world.”   There’s also shoulder and wrist pain.

Indeed, for those with desk jobs, so much time ” is often spent sitting in a chair that’s too low, with a desk that’s too high , and our necks bent down looking at a screen at an angle that makes us feel like Quasimodo .”  That is the underlying cause of much suffering.

3.  Did you know?  Breathing also affects our posture !  (And as a companion — posture affects breathing).  In fact:   “A 2006 report by the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation showed some striking results based on posture. Using 70 able-bodied participants in wheelchairs, the study found that bad posture does indeed affect breathing and lung capacity .”

a.  Here is a very easy EXERCISE to EXPERIENCE how posture affects breathing.  Try this while reading, if you like:

  • Sit up nice and tall.  Now take a Breath.  Exhale.  Repeat.
  • Next, in comparison:  SLOUCH.  Really slouch!  Take an inhale.  How much breath did you take in this time?  Does it feel like you’re trying to  ” blow up a balloon while someone was sitting on it?

b.  So what about breathing affecting posture exercises?  Well, I’d like to reserve that for a Breathing workshop!  Please shoot me an email through my website  or through  my listing in Holistic Therapies Directory   so that I can schedule some kind of workshop or webinar!

WHAT ARE SOME BENEFITS OF IMPROVED POSTURE?

Improved posture/form prevents overuse injury, protects joints, allows for better breathing, makes the body more efficient and flexible, and you’ll even feel a whole lot lighter just standing, sitting, and walking around.

Posture, and Repetition over Time.  

That’s all it takes to create injury.  

And that’s also what it takes to retrain oneself.  It is possible!

I do one on one lessons in person, as well as a couple of very small group classes that are based in Pilates and Osteopathic Sciences .  I am also able to schedule workshops.  I look forward to hearing from you!

Mahalo,

Lahela Hekekia

PMA and STOTT PILATES® Certified Pilates Teacher

Franklin Method® Level 3 Certified Movement Educator

LMT (MAT#6286) and Board Certified (NCBTMB#307766-00)

Graston Technique® Provider