Saturday, August 4, 2007

Lower back advice

Hi Folks

I'm one of those people that as a child, I resented everyone always telling me about my posture. I thought my body would never change and I could do nothing to harm the way it operated.
Boy was I wrong. It took me until I was about 35; after I had been the office field for 10 years; to realize how much damage I had done to my body. It started with a chronic shoulder pain, for which I went to the Doctor. He sent me to physical therapy, which I did not stay with, because I thought the exercises they had me doing were going to hurt more than help until I corrected my posture. So with the help of my counselor, the Holy Spirit, (Oh didn't I tell you? I am a born again Christian) I began my journey back to good posture, but as with anything that is developed over a long period of time it was going to take many years to undo.

Anyway a few weeks ago I started experiencing lower back weakness, which I have experienced before but never took the time to actually do anything serious about it. I had tried little things but they always somehow just made it worse. Well this last time I experienced this weakness I decided to try to mimic the position I get into when I do a wall chair, you know when you stand about 12 inches away from the wall and lean your back into the wall, then slide down into a sitting position. Yea the one that kills the front of your thighs. Well "that" position I put my back into when I press it into the wall and the straightness it produces, is what I mimicked when I was standing, or sitting in the car and in my chair at the office. Concerning when I sit in my car, I usually push my butt all the way to the back of the seat, but when I was trying out this position, I pulled my butt forward from that position just a little and leaned back into the seat with my lower back and followed with my upper back,which lengthened my shoulders and felt so good. To do this you also have to have your feet positioned flat on the floor, pointing forward, and in front of you about a foot, so as to give you the leverage you need to sit this way. Oddly enough you need to have the same stance to do this while you are standing up too. I am attaching a web site address on posture that will show you the positions I am talking about.
If you are like me you spend a lot of time in your car and you can position yourself in this way before you start driving to get the advantage of this exercise during your driving time to work, home, or anywhere. I bought a cushion with ties, which is normally used for a wood kitchen chair and tied it to my headrest to compensate for my drivers seat reclining too far back, it supports my upper back.

I have found all of this to work very well for the support and strengthening of my lower back. I hope it helps you as much as it has me.

Well I must be going, thanks for tuning in.

I will be talking to you again.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

My Introduction

Hi, my name is Sherry. I am 50 years old and I have been in the office field for over 25 years. Thats alot of sitting and inactivity eight hours out of every day. After about 10 years of it, it began to show, in shoulder, neck and back pain, not to mention severe headaches. I had to find a solution to this and it had to be simple, because I did not have the time or inclination for serious exercise. I did some physical therapy at first because my shoulder problem had become chronic, I endured it for three months and then sought help. If you don't let it go that far you can stop it before it gets that bad. From that point on I never let pain go for more than a week. I figured up till then it could be a virus or I could have sat or stood wrong to cause it, but after a week I had better do something about it.
What I did was, I found a few books on repetitive stress syndrome, articles on shoulder, wrist, hip and even foot pain and what made itself very obvious to me was that posture was at the center of all of my pain. So I started mixing and matching information I had collected from my sources and coming up with small ways to use my muscles properly. Like using my lower back muscles to tie my shoes, by sitting on the bed and leaning over. I got that one from the Egosque Method. Also like reaching behind me when I shower and scrubing my back to keep my arms limber. Never pushing beyond what you can bear, be gentle, but firm. Like standing to reach something, instead of reaching from my chair.
One thing that is very important to stop doing if you do it, is leaning on things, don't lean on things sitting or standing, it does horrible things to your muscle groups.
Sitting and standing right are an important part of good posture. Your head is approximatly 25 lbs and it must be balanced on your neck, between your shoulders and between your chest and back. Lift your head forward and up, to extend your neck, this should feel natural and balanced, if not try it again. This technique I got from the Alexander Technique. Lifting your head from the crown as if there were a rope tied from it to the ceiling is another way to stretch your head on your neck. On a Kathy Smith excercise video I once saw, she stood straight and tall and to center her head she took her index finger and pushed her chin back until her head was centered from front to back. The rest of the body should be positioned this way, the knees should be bent a little, the belly button should be touching your spine, your butt should be tucked and your shoulder blades should be trying to touch each other.
Congradulations, you have made it through the first of many articles I will write on this subject.
So until next time, practice some of what youve heard, think of ways you might help yourself and take a look at the websites I've given you above.
If you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you.