Chronic back pain patients often tell me they want to work on their posture.
They say it in the same way someone says they want to lose 10 pounds. Off-handed and nonchalant, like someone with good intentions who forgets to floss. They want to sit up straighter, but then their day gets busy and they forget.
The success and popularity of my posture collection tells me people are becoming aware that maintaining good posture is not as easy as they once thought.
Posture is not just sitting up straighter, it is so much more than that. To have good posture, one must have enough flexibility, stability AND endurance to achieve the necessary positions and keep them all day. They must also have an understanding of what they are trying to accomplish. It is discouraging to think that all one has to do is sit up straight and commit to it, and then fail in this effort day after day.
Posture As Body Barometer
Posture is a barometer of a person’s musculoskeletal system. The ability to maintain good posture throughout the day is a positive signal that much is right. And, conversely, that forward head or the incessant heel strike is as much a sign that something is wrong as a weird rattling noise in a sports car. You can turn the radio up for a while to mask the rattle, but eventually the car is going to break down.
More Posture To Come
In a series of columns to be published here, I will define posture, then stability, and begin to fill in all the blanks so that you may avoid a life consumed by chronic back pain. These ‘blanks’ are often filled in by comments or questions you may wish to ask, so please don’t hesitate send me your questions directly or @DrSeanWheeler.
So…why is posture so important?