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One Change

In a past post, I’ve warned against products that claim to produce lightning-quick fitness or weight-loss results (sorry to say, most are scams or dangerously unhealthy). Today, however, I’m going to contradict myself a little.

What if I told you there was one change you could make today that would dramatically improve your health right away? Would you do it? Now what if I told you that changing this one thing would help you resist injury, back pain, neck pain, headaches, and sciatica and other radiculopathy syndromes? What if I told you it would improve your spinal health, core muscle tone, and even your physical appearance? And best of all, what if I told you it was free and easy to begin? Would you do it then? Okay, I heard that “yes,” so here it is – the one thing you can change today to see all these improvements is (drum roll please) STAND UP STRAIGHT!

As it turns out, adopting proper posture is more important than just getting your grandmother to stop nagging you. Proper posture allows the spinal column to maintain its natural S-curve shape, the most comfortable and efficient position for it to perform the momentous task of supporting the weight of your entire upper body. The spinal column acts as a sort of spring, absorbing the shock of movement while stabilizing and protecting muscles, tendons, and nerves. Bad posture compromises this spring, slowly breaking it down and interfering with its ability to function, resulting in all the symptoms I mentioned above.

Proper posture is easy to achieve (unless your back is deformed from years and years of bad posture – then you may have to work a little harder). Simply stand or sit so your ears, shoulders, and hips are aligned, then gently pull your navel in to engage your abdominal muscles. It may feel a little strange at first, but if you keep at it, it will quickly become habit that would make your grandma proud.

Truth be told, if everyone adopted proper posture as a lifelong habit, my patient load would dramatically decrease. But that’s a chance I’m willing to take. Until next week, stand up straight and keep moving, my friends!

– Alan

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