12 October, 2017
You probably should be....
I will concede that this article sounds more like a teaser to a 90's horror flick. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Whenever I work with a client - it isn't a simple case of just making them fitter. I certainly take it into consideration but I have a number of areas to factor in to ensure that we are going to improve this client's life from all angles! One of the first things we do is look at your posture!
Almost Hung, Drawn & Quartered
A huge part of fixing postural issues and reducing pain is identifying what is the cause. So many people focus on pain and off they go to the Doctor or Physio and they are given something for the pain but it can and often is a case that the cause is not really investigated.. due to the sometimes conveyor belt style of the health professional though more often that simply the person is simply disengages from the point because the pain has now gone.. at least until it comes back again..Meet our fictional example, Levi Jett. Levi Jett (he insists on us calling him by both names) hurt himself going to a music festival.
Levi Jett finally goes to the Physio
Levi Jett: "My shoulder is sore"
Levi Jett: "Let's do some release work on that"
Levit Jett: "Oh that feels better thanks!"
Physio: "Now don't forget to work on your postu...
Levi Jett: "k thx bai - YOLO!!!Physio: *facepalm*
Moving onto less irritating people and more realistic situations.. There are so many influences in our day to day lives that it is indeed like we are being pulled in all different directions. Compromised posture from sitting at a desk all day. Sore shoulders from nursing your new-born bub. Do you drive 60 minutes in one direction just to get to work? When you get stressed, do you maybe tense up in the neck and shoulders? So many constant pressures coming from all directions.. no wonder our bodies are getting tied in knots and mangled by our lifestyles!
The Paula Abdul Effect
Or maybe it's a syndrome? I can't be sure.. but it is definitely about 2 steps forward and then 2 steps back. Or better yet, we are about increasing your steps forward and reducing your steps back. Sometimes I do need to spell it out - do you honestly think 40hrs of potentially poor posture is going to be magically rectified by thinking about having better posture? No. Not even one PT session a week will fix it. If you've spent 10 years in a job that has ended up giving you back and shoulder pain, 2 weeks of dealing with it will not reverse it. It will take time. When you train with EPic Win PT, not only do we have PT sessions uniquely tailored to your needs, we will also provide you with exercises that are emailed to you and updated as required. You will have access to them via our member site and they are all about helping you improve your posture and reducing any pain.
Show me on the Pollie
Behold my Pain and Posture Spectrum!
By the power of technology, I have made an electronic slider for you to have a play with!
Whenever I discuss posture and pain with people I use a scale or spectrum to allow clients to visualise the concept. Not going to lie - I am pretty chuffed at creating this as it really does help people understand the potential for pain and discomfort that comes with poor posture and movement patterns.
The concept is a bit good vs evil but it completely makes sense. You have your light end which depict good posture and no pain and then you you have the dark end of the scale which depicts chronic pain, pathomechanics - you're basically dead inside. Peter Dutton seemed a sensible choice to depict this. It's uncommon for someone to be completely balanced and perfect in their posture and we know there is only one Peter Dutton (Errgh can you imagine there being two? *shudder*). We all fit somewhere on this scale. The closer to the light, the better posture and less pain we have. As we head into the gray, this is where postural issues can present. Working an office job 40 hours a week? It's likely your position on this spectrum is in the gray zone as your shoulders and chest would be tight and your hip flexors too. You may not feel any pain now.. but as you continue to not address these issues, the further you slide down the scale and before long you are likely holding people in barbaric detention centres while ignoring the various human rights violations you are perpetrating. #justsayin
So where exactly do you sit on this spectrum? Is your posture perfect.. or maybe you have a few niggles here and there that send you sliding down that scale into the murky grays? While my interactive spectrum slidey thing doesn't do anything except 3 seconds of novelty html coding... As your trainer I am a hell of a lot more useful in sorting things out for you ;)
A Little Help Here..
Working with a trainer to determine postural issues and then having exercises, stretches and releases prescribed is your way forward. Homework provided for both home and work are vital for you to reverse any problems that may be present. Simply soldiering on isn't helping or impressing anyone. Asking for help and having someone assist you in managing this is a huge and important step to fixing poor posture. Life is indeed, too short and being uncomfortable, in pain or restricted in your day to day activities is no way to live!
We definitely recommend coming in and having a consultation with us if you suffer from poor posture but here are a few stretches to get you going!
HIP FLEXOR STRETCH
1. Kneel down and put your right leg out in front. Keep both knees bent at 90 degrees. Your left knee should be on the ground.
2. Tuck your pelvis under yourself like you are thrusting forward
3. Raise your left arm up in the air and lean to the right.
4. Hold Stretch for 30 seconds to a minute and then swap legs.
Lying External Rotations
1. Lay on your side and place a rolled up towel or something to bolster your elbow slighty
2. Keep your working elbow at 90 degrees
3. Slowly rotate your arm upwards while avoiding use your your trap muscles
4. Slowly then allow the weight to drop back to it's original starting point.
5. Do your reps until you feel as though your trap muscles take over.
6. Complete each rep slowly and make sure that the weight travelpath is smooth and not jolted.
1. Stand next to a post or door frame. You can even use a wall
2. Put your right elbow and wrist up and have the elbow the same height as your shoulder
3. Put your left foot forward slightly in a staggered stance.
4. Push through while pressing your wrist and elbow up against the structure.
5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds to a minute or until the stretch begins to lose intensity.
6. Remember to take big breaths!
Jon is a Metabolic Precision Transformation Specialist working from his Studio EPIC WIN PT in Newmarket, Brisbane. Follow all the fun and adventures by liking the Facebook page here