Low Back Pain Call to Action
Low back pain is now the number one cause of disability globally, according to the global “Call to Action” from a top medical journal, The Lancet. Scientific evidence shows over-medicalization is a big part of the problem, with most back pain treatments either not solving the problem, or even creating other issues.
The May is Posture Month campaign is supporting the solution of Lancet‘s positive health concepts with a call for everyone to dramatically improve posture awareness, exercise and habits.
The Posture Month public health initiative is supported by thousands of posture focused practitioners including chiropractors, therapists and trainers who educate people on the importance of posture for back and other muscle and joint pain, as well as staying healthy. The 2018 campaign will focus people on improving posture Awareness, Control and Environment with the theme “ACE Your Posture”.
An Indicator of Health
Posture shifts with back pain, causing some muscles to weaken, and others to tighten. Retraining body balance begins with awareness of how you truly stand and move, and then retraining deep stabilizing muscles for more accurate control to relieve back and neck pain, as well as muscle and joint pain. Strong posture is key in helping people stay healthy and active as they age.
Many people are concerned about “tech neck” and the chronic slumping associated with other tech-induced postures. I agree. Sitting, texting and typing folds the head and chest down, stressing the body and restricting breathing. This can shorten both your body (bent forward posture) and your life (the ability to breathe deeply is important). How you hold your body molds how your body holds you. Which is why it’s also essential to improve our posture environment by looking at how we sit, stand and move throughout the day.
A Plan to Improve Posture this May
The annual Posture Awareness Month campaign will share daily tips on how to ACE Your Posture. ACE stands for Awareness, Control and Environment.
Awareness: Improve posture awareness with a picture. Any camera works, but a free app like PostureZone (available for free from your iOS or Android app store) lets you measure alignment and compare pictures over time. You can find do-it-yourself instructions, as well as a directory of hundreds of participating practitioners offering free posture pictures this May on http://www.posturemonth.org/. Visit the site for daily tips as well.
Control: Strengthen posture by learning yoga, tai-chi, Pilates, StrongPosture® or other exercise programs that focus on posture and specifically accurate movement. Motor Control Exercises like these are specifically recommended for low back pain over most drugs and surgery by the American College of Physicians.
Environment: Design a healthy work and home environment: Upgrade your chair and consider a desk that lets you stand as well as sit. Look at the design of your mattress, and consider a pillow that keeps your head aligned with your body while you rest.