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How to Treat Back Pain With Posture: Therapeutic Sitting (Part 1)

By MedicinEvolution | In Body Mechanics/Self-Help, Movement, Pain | on May 26, 2016

Just because you sit at a computer for a living
DOESN’T MEAN YOU SHOULD BE
IN PAIN

If back pain is your problem
HERE’S YOUR SOLUTION

Everyone will experience back pain at some point in their lives and often they have the same problem:

They aren’t getting novel movement in important joints.

Without basic spinal movement we aren’t only lacking mobility, but more importantly we’re lacking VITALITY!

Sounds really simple, but I see it everyday. Chances are you’re not sitting your best, so in this two part blog I will first explain why some popular ‘solutions’ that are supposed to work – don’t, and secondly, I’ll present several solutions that I have proven to work through practice on myself and my clients.

These popular solutions either have a low success rate, or have been altogether disproven through research, but are still passed around as common advice.

Clients have been saying for years,

“YOU NEED TO GET THIS INFO OUT THERE! BECAUSE NO ONE ELSE IS DOING WHAT YOU DO.”

And they’re right, so here it is and I hope you find the info helpful, awesome, and liberating. I learned what I’m going to teach you in private practice, working with hundreds of clients for nearly two decades who were experiencing symptoms just like you. What you’ll get are my anecdotal experiences, tactics learned that also work in practice, and strategies validated through scientific research. My clients are truly my greatest teachers.

The first idea I teach at MedicinEvolution is novel movement, here’s WHY.

Novel movement is a brain/body simulator of pain inhibition. Not only that but this simple, single thing – novel movement – is a stimulator of “positivity and performance.” If you experience pain of any sort – this is the single thing that could make the biggest difference in your life.

Let’s rewind for a minute.

Earlier I said I would deconstruct some popular ideas for back pain that have a less than par track record of success, and sometimes even make the pain worse. Hopefully this results in you being better informed, understanding the positives and negatives of each, and most of all, gaining knowledge and insight to make you an active part of your improvement process.

Three popular slogans for back pain that I cringe over:

1. Good posture.
2. Strengthen abs.
3. Walk often.

Here’s a quick overview of each so that we can quickly move on and focus on what actually does work!

GIVE UP GOOD POSTURE!!!

Sitting still and stiff in good posture is totally unnatural and just wrong. Trying to impose a “good” posture on top of an already imbalanced structure is a recipe for disaster. The posture police are grabbing for authority, and talking down to you as if you’re breaking the law, consciously. Bodies weren’t made to be still and stiff they were made to be mobile, dynamic, and in motion; adapting to the constant flux of internal and external changes. The best posture advice I’ve ever heard is, “The best posture is your next posture.” If you’ve been trying to fix back pain through perfect posture you probably get it. This doesn’t mean you have an excuse to slouch, but it does mean it has a purpose in movement that I will explain shortly.

STRONG ABS = STIFF BACK

This advice is so appealing to the person in pain who’s trying really hard to listen to their body. Why? You think you’re killing two birds with one stone, fix the back pain AND get a killer six pack in the process. What usually happens is back pain sufferers get six-pack abs which translates into more stiffness and a greater a loss of spinal mobility (the exact opposite of what they want). We hear “strengthen the core” and “stabilize the core,” but the classical ab exercises can actually make the situation worse. As a general rule think mobility over stability. Strength is good but it shouldn’t compromise movement, keep the ratios balanced. There are better ways to strengthen abs such as Pilates, planks, and other novel ab exercises that simultaneously engage the abs, low back, and hips while promoting movement – these exercises actually strengthen the ENTIRE CORE, not just your abs. Unless you’re lifting crazy weight or lots of weight from an awkward position, you don’t want to indoctrinate your nervous system into believing that rigidity is the default.

WALKING IS GOOD, GREAT SITTING IS EVEN BETTER

You may have been told that sitting all day is bad for your health and that you need to walk more often. Great, anything that interrupts patterns is good, but when you return to your task, you’ll find that walking hasn’t helped you out of pain. A general movement like walking isn’t enough. What you’re really looking for is novel movement from within.

Does this sound like you? You’re making the effort: you’ve got an ergonomic desk or changed to a standing desk; you walk around the office every thirty minutes, yet you’re still suffering from back pain? Now is the time to start exploring novel movement. Interested in learning more? Contact MedicinEvolution today for a free consultation to discuss your back pain!

What does this mean? Read part 2 of How to Treat Back Pain With Posture: Therapeutic Sitting (part 2).

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