Forget About "Posture"
The word "Posture" is loaded with connotations.
People have ideas about "posture" that are mostly false and outdated.
Everyone is a posture expert these days. If someone is telling you how to correct your posture by using some device or a special article of clothing or saying "just stand up straight, pull your shoulders back!", "strengthen your core", "walk with your feet straight".....they don't know what they are talking about at all.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO KNOW IS POSTURE ISN'T REALLY ABOUT LOOKING GOOD AND BEING ABLE TO WALK UPRIGHT WITH A BOOK ON TOP OF THE HEAD. (Although you will look good and be upright.)
It's about the POSITION of the body as a whole and the POSITION of individual joints and parts.
That's it! POSITION. POSITION position POSITION.
If you have been standing on one leg as a habit, or sitting with legs crossed as a habit, or sitting at a desk or in a car a lot, leaning over a desk or computer or reading the newspaper spread out on the kitchen table while standing over it with your head hanging out in space......you have just put your body in misaligned positions and your muscles will MEMORIZE these positions if you do these activities routinely.
AFTER A WHILE your misaligned positions will be ingrained and will lead to inflammation, friction, pain and in time injury.
THEREFORE, POSITION = PAIN or No PAIN
Bad misaligned bones with muscle imbalances = Pain
Good alignment and muscle balance = No Pain
Call us at 772-559-1532 for a consultation so we can show you where you are misaligned and discuss how to make the corrections. We're are located in Vero Beach, Florida.
Are you Faking Good Posture?
The importance and benefits of proper body alignment, proper posture, is becoming more and more widely acknowledged. More and more people think they can correct their own posture problems by "trying" to hold their shoulders back or pull their chin back or walk with their feet pointed correctly.
We call this "Faking it till you make it." You can't fake out the body.
Simply put, proper posture alignment is when the body's center of gravity is in the center of the body and all primary joints are stacked vertically and level horizontally and the pelvis and spine are in their original optimal position for full function. (The spine has three distinct curves for important functions.) This is the most efficient healthy position for the body, the position we were all born with (except 5% of the population) but with habitual unhealthy patterns, injury have diverged from.
The body can maintain these positions when muscles have proper tension and proper length to hold the skeleton upright in the optimal position. Trying to correct the position of your hips, shoulders, knees, feet or head a certain way is useless since the alignment should be taking place at an involuntary level.
It is the nervous system's job to operate muscle function which determines bone position and joint movement without your conscious input. It's like believing you can have direct control over your stomach digesting food or making your intestines work. These are automatic processes that your body knows how to do without you.
If your knees point outward or inward and not straight ahead (even if you could), it is a bad idea to force your knees to point a different way. Holding your knees, stomach, shoulders or pelvis a certain way will produce a chain reaction in another area which will go out of alignment. Forcing one area to "be straight" will pull some other part of the body out of balance and alignment.
One client realized he had created Spondylolisthesis (a spinal vertebra slipping forward of the stack of vertebrae). For years, he constantly pulled his shoulders backward but he didn't realize this was pushing his pelvis forward. In an effort to keep his shoulders back, his body consequently resembled a "bow" as in bow and arrow. This put amazing pressure on his lower back and over time created a shearing force and effect shifting one lumbar vertebra forward and this was extremely painful and problematic. Correcting this problem took a lot of time and effort.
Muscles have memory and you will need to reprogram the old dysfunctional memory of muscle imbalances with new functional patterns. (This is confusing to most people but this is where our method of Posture Alignment Therapy excels.)
CHANGING YOUR POSTURE WITH GIZMOS, HOLDING YOURSELF CONTINUALLY A CERTAIN WAY (BASED ON POPULAR BUT MISGUIDED IDEAS OR BELIEFS) IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO DO ON YOUR OWN.
YOU CAN'T SEE YOURSELF FULLY AND MOSTLY LIKELY DON'T HAVE ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE PROPER ANATOMICAL MOVEMENTS AND POSITIONS YOUR BODY PARTS MUST MAINTAIN and HOW TO CREATE THEM. FAKING GOOD POSTURE DOESN'T WORK.
SIMPLY SUCKING IN YOUR GUT OR BRACING YOUR ABS CAN CREATE MORE PROBLEMS.
THE BODY WORKS AS A UNIT. IT IS ILL-ADVISED TO ONLY FOCUS ON ONE BODY PART OR MUSCLE YOU THINK IS CAUSING A PROBLEM.
Further, as described above in the example of the person "correcting posture" by pulling shoulders back that created a serious spinal problem, the body has to be put in positions that take away the compensations and create alignment and functionally correct positions then make the muscles work from that corrected position.
A salesperson came through our door the other day selling something. He started to inquire about how our therapy works. As he was saying his posture was good he arched his back and stood up straight, this caused him to hold his belt and pull his pants up as standing up straight changed how his pants were fitting. I pointed out his rounded shoulders, a dead give away when I told him the knuckles of his hands were visible, and his pelvis was tucked under, and his lumbar spine had lost it's important curve which threw his head and shoulders forward, he said he was about to have spinal fusion surgery. I said, "no wonder." Faking correct posture is a waste of effort and can be detrimental.
Forcing a change or a correction to one area will most likely change another area which is not necessarily for the better. It's temporary and faking good posture.
CALL FOR A CONSULTATION TO SEE HOW YOU HAVE REPROGRAMMED YOUR POSTURE AND MUSCLE MOVEMENT PATTERNS 772-559-1532 in Vero Beach and LET US SHOW YOU HOW WE CAN HELP YOU MEET YOUR GOALS.
Check out this great new video of Pete Egoscue explaining why Opioids don't solve pain.
Cramps is a popular topic of discussion. Some believe they come from a lack of magnesium, potassium, water, soap in the bed. But when water and magnesium and potassium are added to the body and the cramps still occur then common sense tells us, the cramps are caused by something else.
Here is one common sense explanation that might be true for you.
Consider the muscle anatomy of the leg. Most of the muscles are positioned vertically. Hams, calves tib anterior, quads, longitudinal arch of foot, muscles tendons to toes. The front and back of the leg muscles have equal length and tension to create optimal flexion and extension.
Picture ropes and pulleys. Vertical lines.
That creates optimal friction-free function.
Change the muscle balance at the hip and pelvis area (glutes become weak, hip flexors might be weak, outer and inner muscles of leg are too tight/too weak) now the femur drops inward making the knee closer to the other knee, the ankle sags to the floor in pronation you are no longer using all the hamstrings. No longer using both right AND left sides of the calf. The longitudinal arch of the foot isn't used fully now because the foot is riding along the inner arch not loading and rolling straight through the bottom
There is now a crazy unhealthy angle to each component of the entire leg. Some of the muscles are being used and overused. The other half are not and will atrophy. You may not even be aware this is happening.
Laying in bed you unconsciously move to straighten your leg, your foot stretches out a little straighter just at the right angle and now you just activated the very dense atrophied muscle in your foot or calf or hamstring. You just woke it up. It's so tight it's so dense it's so full of lactic acid from being dormant and not used properly, it's just like concrete. You just made your foot go into the precise angle -you've now engaged the part of the muscle that's been on vacation. There's your spasm and your cramp. Cramps are waking up dormant tight contracted atrophied muscles which is good!
Cramps are very overly contracted muscles being woken up and activated since they are already super tight they go into a spasm.
You are wondering "why are painful cramps good?" Any pain is a valuable message that something is not working right and should be corrected. Here's your opportunity to call and come in or send us your digital pictures. 772-559-1532
We are here to help you see and feel your muscle imbalances with our digital photos and gait video. There is no mystery or guesswork when you can see that the muscles are out of balance making the parts work unevenly. This is not permanent in most cases and take some effort to correct but can be improved so joints don't get damaged and injury does not result.
Hip Pain: High Intensity Workouts
Posture Alignment Specialists have been saying for YEARS (and thousands of people have listened and learned) - DON'T BLAME THE SPORT, BLAME THE BODY GOING INTO THE SPORT, then fix the muscle imbalance messing up proper joint position.
See the article in The Washington Post:
As millennials flock to high-intensity workouts, hip pain follows.
Click HERE to read the full article.
My favorite part is:
"It’s not uncommon for active young adults to experience some joint pain, but orthopedic specialists worry that regimens that rely on heavy weightlifting or intense aerobic exercises are causing more hip injuries. There are no definitive studies that correlate the two, but research in the Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy says high-intensity activities appear to increase the risk of hip osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease.
What’s more, specialists at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have reported a rise in cases of young adults with femoral acetabular impingement, a condition that occurs when the ball of the femur fails to fit securely into the hip socket. High levels of activity, they say, can cause the plate to fuse in an abnormal shape and result in a hip impingement."
Oh dear, there are no definitive studies. But it "appears" to increase risks for disease!
Come on folks. Let's wake up and smell the coffee. WHO NEEDS A STUDY?
Let's use common sense and look at the body for heaven's sake. Here's a novel idea: Let's look at the WHOLE body and the position the muscles have pulled the joints and bones in.
Here is your ANSWER to degenerative joints......the USER IS DOING IT TO THEMSELVES but being sold I mean told a DISEASE has taken hold and shredding their joints is not accurate.
Jump up and down on a stair or step or riser 100-500 times WITH EXTERNAL FEMURS/KNEES and EVERTED FEET. You will degenerate any or all of the components of various joints. It may not even take that may repetitions.
Look at the photo from The Washington Post's article below. See the woman's feet are everted and knees point outward. The man's feet and knees are pointed straight ahead - that's good and healthy. Her feet/knees are not, that's bad and dangerous although she does not have a disease. But soon there will be pain.
THAT IS SIGNIFICANT.
Everted feet, external legs are significant. That tells a super smart Posture Alignment Specialist certified by the Egoscue University that the ankle and the hip muscles are OUT OF BALANCE and proper foot strike and biomechanical ankle, low leg, knee and hips function is DYSFUNCTIONAL but FIXABLE!!!
Yes and then add Kettle Bells and ask dysfunctional joints to work with an added 20-30 lbs of weight. Good luck with that.
So what about the Femural Acetabular Impingment reported increase by Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. YES!!! Over strengthen your hip flexors and your abs so you get the 6-pack and the hefty thighs and try and centrate the head of the femur in the socket without capable strong functional glutes, bingo, you got FAI.
The ball of the femur has to have equal pull and action on it to stay in the hip socket. It's a round ball.....right? Hip flexors and hip EXTENSORS especially the Glutes must be working correctly to move the femur and keep it sitting properly in the joint. AND the upper thoracic (upper body spine) position must also be optimal and working well too but that's another discussion. No glutes no glory, no hip EXTENSION. Hip Extension is 50% of your gait.
We treat many causalties from intense workouts as well as not so intense workouts. Weekend warrior, triathlete, Ironman, marathoner, CrossFitter, yoga-Pilates student heck the housewife who changed the shower curtain, it's not the sport, it's not the class, the trainer, it's not the weights or the shoes, the golf club, the equipment in the gym. It's not the SHOWER CURTAIN's fault. It's you.
Call us for a digital consultation today 772-559-1532
Prednisone is an immunosuppressive drug, though necessary in some cases, is associated with serious long-term side effects such as cataracts, bone loss, weakening of the immune system, and many others. One of the most serious complications from prednisone is the risk of osteoporosis, which occurs from the bone loss.
Just got a voicemail message from a client who has had what she said is recurring "sciatica" pain.
"hi, I'm calling to say I'm confined to my house. My doctor says I have a hairline fracture of my right femur and he is pretty sure it is caused by the Prednisone."
When analyzing pain, sometimes it's helpful to consider the possible cause of pain could very likely be caused by drugs as evidenced by this person's experience with being on Prednisone for 5 months.
You are a Healing Miracle
Curious what kind of healing miracle?
It's YOUR body. Yes. Your body is nothing short of a Miracle.
Your body has the inherent ability to heal itself. Yes it can. It does.
You cut your finger, it heals. You don't even have to go to the doctor. Just make sure the cut is clean and possibly covered. Miracle. In a day or two or three it's like it never happened.
Break a bone? Is it still broken? No. It healed itself, maybe with the help of a cast or a sling but it did heal. All you had to do was wait. That's all, just wait.
Here is a picture of my mother's humerus (arm) bone. (Yes and you can even see her pacemaker.) Check out the BROKEN humerus. Wow, that's some break!!
Even at age 94 (!!!!) her body healed this bone!! Because of her age, she did not have surgery. She wore a Sling for 8-12 weeks during which time the bone stabilized and it literally knitted itself back together.
The bone healed itself. She didn't take any special healing pill, no surgery, no stem cells, no nothing! At 94 years old, she has 85% range of motion in that shoulder. Pretty amazing.
Below is a photo of a bone on bone knee. No it's not bone on bone due to age. That's never the reason. It's bone on bone because the joints above and below the knee were not stable and aligned and functioning properly to keep the knee straight so it ground down the cartilage (see the left image of the knee on the outer edge--the gap is closed because the cartilage is wore away.)
After a year of retraining the muscles of the hip and ankle (with posture alignment therapy) to work functionally and fully, the knee was able to reposition and the cartilage was able to reestablish itself.
Miracle? No, it's the body's built in capability to heal and regenerate. See the bone on bone is gone and cartilage reestablished itself.
Modern medicine will never be able to replicate the body's own inherent ability to heal. Mother Nature is far smarter than man. Man just has to step back, swallow some pride, and start looking at physical problems functionally. How should it function, how is it functioning. Where is the gap. Why is it not moving straight. What natural non-chemical support is needed to provide what's missing.
Call us to discuss your pain and dysfunction. 772-559-1532
Forward Head Posture
"I'm doing some research on Forward Head Posture correction for personal use and I came across your website. I was wondering if you could shed a light on a question of mine.
I came across the information that sleeping on your back on a hard mattress or even on the floor, with no pillow or a small neck support can actually reverse a case of forward head posture, by forcing your neck into a more natural position for several hours. Do you think that's a helpful approach? Do you recommend it?"
I do not agree with that approach since it is a waste of energy treating the neck or head as if it is a separate island, separate from the rest of the spine and body. The spine and head sit on top of a bowl-like structure, the pelvis which moves like a ship's 3-Axis Gimbal.
The pelvis is designed to move in many positions with the use of many pelvic and hip muscles. Muscles can over time end up restricting some movements in favor of other movements and then the spine has to follow since the spine sits on top of the pelvis.
Pillow, no pillow, neck support, no support......look at the 4 postures from Kendall McCreary's book Muscles Testing and Function with Posture and Pain and study the position these pelvises have gotten in. See how changing the position of the pelvis directly changes the position and shape of the spine and what affect that has on head position? Forward head position.
Don't chase the symptom. Don't waste money on gimmicks and gizmos. Look at the body as a unit. Treat the body as a unit not separate parts as islands.
Call us for a consultation today 772-559-1532.
Another fast point to make.
You know when you stub your toe on the metal bed frame or coffee table leg. That is PAIN. All CAPS: PAIN!!! Yyyooow!
If you have a pinched nerve in your spine, that can produce strong, life arresting PAIN!!!
As you work with your Posture Alignment Therapist the PAIN is starting to become a bit intermittent then even more intermittent (a good sign your body is becoming more balanced, dormant muscles are starting to work again, joint and bone positions are improving slowly). Your therapist may be explaining your right buttock muscle is atrophied and has been out to lunch doing nothing to move your leg at the hip. This is often due to the poor rounded upper back position which DEFINiTELY limits by 50% or more full hip function.
Getting atrophied muscles to contract and function again can in and of itself produce discomfort which some people lump in with really horrible PAIN.
"Pain" without capital letters may no doubt be a strong sensation but it's not the same PAIN. It's a different pain. Atrophied muscles can take some time to improve.
If it's Pain and the person associates it with PAIN, then they can easily become afraid that they are doing something BAD and should stop. The therapist isn't a mind reader but in many cases being very experienced with many types of clients and problems know that stopping from fear of Pain (not PAIN) is counterproductive and will limit sometimes dramatically the therapy process and progress.
The therapist will encourage continuing since the tug of war between a dysfunctional muscle or joint and the healthy function the exercise is asking for will result in more healthy function, less PAIN and less Pain.
Tweaked Yourself, Pain is Back?
This will be a quick blog post.
You have your menus. You are working with a therapist doing sessions or you did work with a therapist and are using those Menus.
You overdo some activity and ooooops! You tweak your back or sciatica flares up.
THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO SKIP YOUR MENU.
This is the time to DO YOUR MENU.
When you "tweak" some body part, you (yes, you did it, there is nothing wrong with playing golf or doing yard work) temporarily moved a bone or joint out of POSITION.
Your Menu is designed to put you BACK INTO POSITION. So why avoid your menu! Do your menu! Call your therapist, ask which menu to do. If you own a tower and that is part of your therapy homework, then get in the tower.
Don't NOT do your menu.
Your menu is HEALTH. Your menu is healthy MUSCLE and JOINT FUNCTION. You have gotten into an UNHEALTHY dysfunctional position temporarily and the menu will help your body return to health and correct function and position.
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.