The people who are the most successful in solving their pain problems are the ones who hands down really understand the connection between their body's position and their pain.
It's the people who use common sense, logic, not buying into popular media messages or dogma. They are actually taking time to do self-education and learning while making the extra effort to see and feel what is going on with their body. This is taking responsibility to really understand the underlying problem and not being satisfied by some garbage basket diagnosis.
If you have pain in a joint or body part, look at it. Stand in the mirror and look at it. Look at the joint and body part above it and below it. Look at yourself from the front and side and if needed have someone take a photo of you from the front, rear and sides. What do you see? Is your head forward and out in space? Have you lost your butt? Is it flat? Is your spine flat missing curves? Do you have any exaggerated spinal curves? Are your hands rounded showing knuckles? Is one leg of your shorts higher than the other? Is your belt level with the ground or slope downward on one side? Is one shoulder higher than the other. Do your feet turn out like a duck, even a little? Do your knees caps point inward or outward?
OK....now do you have degenerative disc "disease"? Why? Oh right, sure, someone is blowing smoke up your skirt, it's "arthritis"? Gee whiz....maybe your muscles are holding one side of your pelvis higher on one side than the other. And since the spine sits directly on the foundation called pelvis, do you think the degeneration in your spine could be caused by the muscle imbalance hiking up the pelvis?
Do you know each vertebra is designed to move forward and back, side bend and rotate? Do you know your spine is not designed to stay in a tilted or rotated or bent position on an ongoing regular basis and held there? Do you know the way your body protects it's vital parts is to produce inflammation (called arthritis, or bursitis or tendonitis or....), or lay down extra calcium (called stenosis) or to add fluid (called edema)?
There is nothing wrong with your spine it is doing exactly what any spine would do which is deal with the cock-eyed, caddywhampus position your pelvis is in caused by muscle imbalance. You created the problem, the muscle imbalance, not your genes, not your your uncle and father and grandfather. YOU created it.
And YOU can fix it too. Not with drugs. Drugs cover up the problem so the problem grows bigger and meaner and worse. Not with surgery or manipulation. Cutting and removing the body's parts will in many cases lead to further problems usually because your body needed those parts in the first place. Pushing muscles around or ignoring the rest of the body is short sighted. The muscles have been trained by you, to hold your bones like that. And until you know what is out of position and you make the muscles move the bones back into position, guess what? They are not going to change regardless of the injections, cutting, pain pills, manipulations etc.
Do you have shoulder pain and/or neck pain and headaches? Then look at the position of your head and rounded and/or elevated shoulders and flat low back and flexed and or hyperextended knees. Whoa....ya think your posture is creating the pain, arthritis, stenosis and "disease"? Oh my goodness, of course it is!
The point is, how can there be terrible posture, terribly mispositioned joints, muscle weakness or overly strengthened muscles and pain in half dozen places and these things NOT be related to your pain, your arthritis, your stenosis, Spondy, disc herniations, disc compressions, ACL/Meniscus tears? Come on. Go bend the frame of your car, or the drum of your washer or take 6 of the 40 spokes from your bicycle's wheel, bend the heating element on your stove, bend the hands of your watch or clock. Do any of these things continue to work and function well or at all? No!
Then why do people expect that their bodies are any different? If you change the position of any of the body's load bearing joints, over time there will be problems. The body is not impervious to breaking down. Pete Egoscue says it perfectly: the body has great tolerance, just not infinite tolerance.
If you modify the design, by repositioning the parts with muscle imbalance, you are creating dysfunction and all these labels (arthritis, stenosis, spondy, tendonitis, tears, etc.) are in truth just symptoms of the real core problem - the posture gone a wry.
Your body has 600+ muscles and some of those muscles are imbalanced from injury or habitual repetitive movement patterns. Gosh maybe your pelvis and hips are out of position and you are hitting the gym strengthening that imbalance. Don't blame arthritis or stenosis or your relatives because you spent the last 40 years bending over a desk or computer or slouching in chairs and not keeping your body FUNCTIONALLY operational and sound. (By the way going to the gym does not necessarily create proper muscle and joint function but that's another topic.)
One of the best gifts you can give your self is the gift of awareness and common sense by looking at yourself and linking your physical pain and problems to how your body is positioned and your current posture.
If you need help, get out of the chair and call us. We are always here to help: 772-559-1532 or Posture4Life@gmail.com
Catee Ingwersen is an Egoscue certified Posture Alignment Specialist and Licensed Massage Therapist.