“My injury occurred when I was 24, young and strong. Invincible. Then I lifted a heavy box and twisted just right – and down I went. One herniated disc and two severe bulging discs – instantly! My life has not been the same since that day. I can still remember the “ripping” feeling and sound I heard (in my head) at the time of my injury, and I can see that day as clearly as if it happened yesterday”—Pain Sufferer Forum
The first time I heard that quote, I thought of my own mom. She is a former nurse who still suffers daily pain as a result of doing one of the most dangerous things a nurse can do—transferring a patient from chair to bed.
Unfortunately for her she didn’t get the help she had expected from the other nurse and she ended up bearing almost the entire weight on her spine. She ended up with a herniated disc.
Here is the thing.
It could have been worse. You see, she was given some straight talk by her doctor. She could go with an operation but there was a 50% chance that she would be paralyzed. My mom decided not to chance it and opted not to take the operation.
“I hate living in pain, but the thought of not being able to do anything for myself is something that I know I wouldn’t be able to live with,”She often says to me.
By contrast, lets look at someone who took another approach. Consider the following quote:
Many years before when I had serious back pain from a sports injury, the surgeons said they would explore my spine and “figure it out.” Out of frustration I had impulsively opted for the procedure. They ended up fusing the vertebrae. It left me debilitated. In hindsight, I blamed myself more than the surgeons. I had pressed them for a solution when in fact none was apparent because the cause of the pain was obscure.
How doctors think, by Jerome Groopman
I think the two quotes bring into focus the fifth part of a seven part series on the 7 biggest posture mistakes. Using the wrong approach to fixing your posture.
This series, as stated before, is inspired by internationally trained posture expert, Paula Moore. You can check out her video below.
The rest of this post will focus on using the wrong approach to fixing your posture.
Of course telling someone to apply the information about using the right approach to fixing one’s posture and actually doing it are two different things. And that’s why you’re about to learn how you can avoid the mistake of using the wrong approach to fixing your posture.
Let’s jump in.
If you recall our last conversation on posture mistakes, we were focusing on the importance of distinguishing a structural problem from a functional problem.
A structural problem can’t be fixed by methods that are meant to make our body function better. For example, getting a standing desk to combat back pain caused by sitting too long will work in most cases. Why? Well, you’re correcting the early process of spinal pressure and that is doable by making sure that you’re not sitting hours on end.
Here is a video that shows how to fix a functional problem:
The Importance of Not Using The Wrong Approach to Fixing Your Posture
That said, your back pain may be caused by a degeneration of the spine. This means you are dealing with a structural issue such as damaged nerves and no amount of exercise or traditional therapy will help.
The only real solution would for you to find the right approach and perhaps that may require surgery. You would of course have to decide how extensive you want the surgery to be. The initial surgery, as in my mom’s case, may relieve your pain. However, the follow-up surgery, meant to get rid of the pain, may risk permeant damage.
By now you’re wondering what common posture problem can be analogous to what what you just read. Glad you asked. An example of a common posture problem is Forward Head Posture (FHP)— also called “text neck”.The head is forward relative to the shoulder.
This is serious stuff. Look, For every inch your head is thrusted forward from its natural position it adds an additional 10 lbs of stress to the neck, back and shoulders. According to the Mayo Clinic, this can “lead to long term muscle strain, disc herniations, arthritis and pinched nerves.”
It gets worse.
A study by numerous doctors, and some of staff at UCLA, found that the effectiveness of the lungs was reduced by 30 percent if enough pressure was forced upon the cervical spine. In other words, Forward Head Posture reduces the capability of your lungs to keep you alive by 30 Percent.. Does that get your attention? It certainly gets mine.
What Are The Solutions to Correct Forward Head Posture?
It depends on what is causing the spinal imbalance. If that’s your answer, give yourself a pat on the back. If It is caused by prolonged hours of being hunched over computers, tablets, mobile and other electronic devices, then you are dealing with a more functional approach to the problem. This means a solution can be as simple as fixing your work station and using a back support pillow when sitting or driving. By supporting the low back, the head and neck will move back over the shoulders.
Research shows that doing all these things can make a difference.
But Here is The kicker.
Falls and trauma can cause whiplash resulting in muscle imbalance. This pulls the spine out of alignment forcing the head forward.
This is a case where the problem is structural. Meaning no functional or generic exercise will make it better.
The best approach in making the correction is to be examined and x-rayed by a chiropractor to identify the exact measurements of the FHP. The chiropractor will than figure out what spinal adjustments need to be made to fix the misalignment.
Now, to wrap things up, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite quotes from Tony Robbins:
“Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.”
If this quote doesn’t make you think about your approach to a problem, then nothing will. And that’s why I encourage you to take what you’ve learned in this article and use it to be like Tony Robbins. Because no matter who you are, you can always get the solution to your problem if you are willing to use the right approach.
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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions