As a Corrective Exercise Specialist, the biggest part of my job is to educate the public on the intimate connection between posture, pain, and performance.
Posture related pain has been well documented over the years. In 1994 The American Journal of Pain Management published a study that concluded that posture and physiology are related. Poor posture was observed in patients suffering from various pain-related medical conditions, such as backaches, headaches and stress related illnesses.
In fact they state "posture affects and moderates every physiologic function from breathing to hormonal production. Spinal pain, headache, mood, blood pressure, pulse, and lung capacity are among the functions most easily influenced by posture.
The most significant influences of posture are upon respiration, oxygenation, and sympathetic function. Ultimately, it appears that homeostasis and autonomic regulation are intimately connected with posture. The corollary of these observations is that many symptoms, including pain, may be moderated or eliminated by improved posture."
Corrective exercise programming is founded on the principle that all human beings are born with a common "blue-print" design. Aside from acute trauma and rare genetic abnormalities, the average human being who adheres to it's blue-print design should be able to perform daily activities, exercise, play and enjoy a pain free life and living throughout its lifespan.
Our highly mechanized motion starved western culture promotes less and less activity and functional movmement on a daily basis. We become vicitms of what John Cattermole of Egoscue Phoenix calls the "digital demons". John recently wrote:
“Efficiency is killing us in the Western world.
We don’t cook, we micro. No more cleaning, we toss. Forget walking; get in the car. And who wants to rinse cloth diapers when perfumed Pampers are at our disposal.
Digital coffee makers obediently drip their stimulus into hurried hands rushing to join the morning’s immobile flight from condo to corporate. Behind static desks now, we dutifully endure 480 minutes of daily grind, mouses clicking expected responses to digital demagogues…”
We live in a high stress, repetitive yet motion starved environment which makes us all susceptible to posture related pain. In a Share Guide interview, Pete Egoscue (founder of The Egoscue® Method) said:
"Never have humans been busier than we are now. We are running from pillar to post so, yes, we do have compensations that have occurred because of our lifestyle. But we are still using the same body and we're still participating like never before in activity. The problem is that the body has a system of adaptation, and the adaptation is to the stimulus that we provide it--so even though we're very active, and we're trying to be fit and healthy, what's happened to us is that the posture muscles that were designed to hold us upright have grown increasingly dysfunctional. And this is escalating decade by decade, generation by generation. So that's where all this chronic pain is coming from. We are moving, but it's the body that we're bringing to the movement that's causing the problem.
Corrective Exercise: The Theory
All corrective exercise programming is based on the following principles:
- Muscles move bones.
- The body works as a unit and must be treated as such. Everything works together. If you sprain your ankle, or have a problem at any one joint the whole body is affected, not just the symptomatic area.
- The ability of your body to adhere to it's "blue-print" design is directly correlated to the presence/absence of pain. How well the four load-bearing joints of your body (shoulders, hips, knees and ankles) line up vertically and horizontally will determine how well your body weathers the aging process.
Here at Pain Free Posture MN, our goal is NOT to help you find short-term symptomatic pain relief. Rather, wer're here to address the source of your pain (your posture) and eliminate the dysfunctions/compensations in your body that have led to your pain symptoms or limitations. The process is easy. After a postural assessment and function tests a customized set of corrective exercises are created for you specific needs.
Corrective exercise is not a "quick fix", it's a process. Remember, your body didn't get into it's current condition overnight. It is the cumulation of movement and posture habits created over your life experiences.
Your pain/posture issues developed over time and they will also take time to correct. but, the good news is, it will only take a fraction of the time to correct as it did to develop them. As you continue to do your corrective exercises (and follow-up with your therapist for new menus) your posture improves, your pain diminishes, and you'll gain strength and mobility.
Corrective exercise really works! It's so simple, it's profound and I encourage you to give it a try.
"American Journal of Pain Management;" Postural and Respiratory Modulation of Autonomic Function, Pain, and Health; John Lennon, et al; January 1994
Posted on Fri, January 6, 2012
by Deb Preachuk filed under