7 months ago

Chronic Pain to Pain Free in 5 Weeks!

The amazing thing about posture therapy… is that many of my clients and many have fantastic results. Today’s story about my client Korey, is unique because she was able to go from chronic pain to running a 5K in less than 5 weeks FLAT.

In some cases, it can take some time before the body adjusts to a new postural positioning… working on your posture is not a quick fix like taking a pill! But in Korey’s situation, It was a fast and effective process and took very little time to identify her postural deviation and how to fix it. 

Korey is a 29 year old nurse and a married mother of two daughters. She came to me with some current pain issues that have been progressively been getting worse as she ages. Her primary problem was lower back pain, with pain more often on her left side, as well as hip pain primarily on the left side. At the time of our appointment she was also experiencing a slight ache in her inner left thigh and right shin/ankle. The magnitude of pain was highly connected her physical activity. If she stands for long periods, exercises intensely, or sits for long periods, the pain is triggered. In the past she had seen a Physical Therapist and chiropractor, and had been given some exercises to help “strengthen” her hips such as clams, squats, and bridges. She said these exercises did help a little. The chiropractor had given her a shoe lift, which didn’t help at all.

At her first appointment with me, she was unable to run more than a mile without pain. So we made it our joint goal to help her get through a 5K race that she had signed up for… only a month later.

Her pictures immediately told a very obvious story to me, and the number one postural deviation that stood out was her pelvic disparity. I checked by palpitating with my hands and confirmed that her left side was in a posterior position (tucked under) and her right side in a slight anterior position (arched forward). I also identified an elevated left hip and an elevated left shoulder.

She presented with valgus knee strain on both sides (knock knees). Her right foot is pronated (flat) and everted (turned out), while her left foot actually showed as supinated (high arch). Her left femur looked internally rotated (turned in).

Both shoulders were rounded and she had a slight forward head. She also presented with some rotation in her spine with both the shoulders and the hips swaying forward on the left side

The before picture is on the left, after picture on the right.

Korey’s first menu consisted of exercises such as gravity drop, arm circles, static back, static back pullovers, abductor presses, hip flexors lifts, extended lateral, airbench, and 3 position toe raises. All of these exercises are designed to attack 3 major deviations: the posterior pelvis, the internally rotated femurs, and the scapula position. 

She took this menu home for 2 weeks and did it about 5 times per week. She wasn’t perfect, but she reported feeling results with this compliance level. She came back for a review 2 weeks later where we adjusted her menu. We took out a few exercises that didn’t seem very effective (mainly stretching… since she is hypermobile and needs more strengthening than stretching). We added more core and hip strengthening work on her second menu. 

I’m happy to report that Korey completed her 5K 3 weeks later and ran the entire race! She was very proud of herself, and definitely attributed her success to the e-cise menu. She said she was “sore” the next day, but that it felt more like muscle soreness versus the pain she had been experiencing before. We were both so pleased with her progress in a short 5 weeks- from a painful mile… to a pain-free 3 miles in just over a month! 

Do you have pain that you know is related to your posture and alignment? If so, I would love to hear about it below and I’ll see how I can help. You can find out more about VerticAlign’s Posture Therapy programs here. 

7 months ago

The MINI Desk Pain Relief Plan

(It’s Mini! Only 4 Minutes Long!)

 

Sitting or standing at your workstation can cause some intense pain! Most people believe that sitting is what causes a myriad of problems such as neck pain and back pain. In reality, the problem with our technology driven lifestyle is that we are not moving as much as our bodies are designed to move.

To help combat this epidemic of immobility, I’ve created a desk program to help you get in your daily, effective posture exercises that can be easily done during your work day.

Of course the only way to determine if a posture coaching plan is right for you is to try it out! To give you a sampling of the effective and efficient posture specific exercises designed for this program, below is a a short 4 minute desk routine. This mini desk pain relief plan hits the 3 major areas of the body that need to be worked throughout the day. I recommend doing this 4 minute routine daily for a week and see how your body feels. In fact, it’s so short that you can do it multiple times in a day!

Be sure to perform the exercises in the order listed below.

DESK HAMSTRING STRETCH

Let’s begin with opening up the chest and stretching the hamstrings. Watch the video below. The VERY important part of this exercise is the lower back position. It’s important that it’s NOT rounded and that you use your hip flexors to find a neutral pelvis position (lower back is flat):

DESK SITTING ELBOW CURLS

Next up we are going to strengthen the upper body posture muscles. We’ve opened up the chest muscles in the previous exercises, so therefore it should be a bit easier to get the arms into this position for elbow curls. Make sure that your knuckles are ON your forehead and that you try to get your elbows to touch together when you close them up. Listen to the audio for more cues:

DESK STANDING IN-LINE GLUTEAL CONTRACTIONS

Finally, it’s time to work the glutes! We sit on these muscles and they become under-activated. Without active glutes, our lower back takes on a lot more pressure than it was designed to take. This exercise works the muscles unilaterally (which means one side at a time). This way you can figure out which side is harder to contract than the other, and correct this disparity. Check it out here:

Rotate through these 3 exercises as many times as you can in a day, and you’re guaranteed to feel better! It’s quick, easy, and simple to do on a daily basis. You can search for hours and hours on the internet to try to find an easy way to get proper posture exercises at your desk, or you could follow this mini plan and know that you’re getting the best possible 4 minute routine that’s worth your time. 

(no really… comment below and tell me what else I can offer you to help your posture and pain!)

What more do you want?

Comment below and let me know how you did with this mini plan… I love to hear from all of you and respond to every email (comment)!

Kickstart Your WorkStation Posture with This Brilliant Solution

Every once in a while you stumble across something so brilliant you want to shout it from the rooftops!

This is the exact case for this posture product review of the new software Brightday (currently available through a Kickstarter Campaign only).

As a posture fitness specialist, I’m not a huge fan of posture braces. When a brace is holding your body in position, it trains the “brain” to sit in better posture, but the muscles are still being assisted by the brace. I’m a bigger fan of products that force you to find movement and proper alignment using your own body mechanics and musculature.  

For example, I reviewed a product a while ago called “Upright Go”, which is a device that sits on the upper spine, tracks alignment, and buzzes you when you fall out the position. You set “training” sessions throughout your day to practice sitting in “proper posture”, because wearing it all day long doesn’t make sense (if you bend over to pick up your bag you would be buzzed).

Now in theory, this product is brilliant, but in reality there are some downfalls. Do you know what happened to my upright go? I wore it home one day (accidentally) and took it off, and kept forgetting to charge it and take it back to my workstation. The “forgot to put it on and charge it” element of the posture device, leaves more than desired when it comes to ease and effort.

Now along comes Brightday, billed as posture software with no straps or gadgets. At first glance, my thought was “I don’t want to have to download something new that may or may not work”. But, when I realized it was compatible across many devices and platforms, and that I could program it to open at a particular time of day that worked for me, I was in.

The download to my HP laptop was easy. The set up took less than 5 minutes. Figuring out how to use it was a breeze.

With a posture wearable device, you are forced to reach around and awkwardly place it on your back to put it on, and then to press a button to “calibrate” it for your proper posture. Instead, Brightday software showed me a video of how to sit properly, asked me to find this position, and then recorded my position using the camera on my own laptop.

Much like the other wearable posture devices, I then set a “training” session for myself. I sat in the correct position and noticed that when I started to slouch, the indicator on my screen turned a different color. So, I immediately correct myself! By the end of my 10 minute training session I received a notification letting me know what percentage of the time I was in “proper posture”.

I’m not the posture coach who will tell you that you should be sitting in the same position all day long. In fact, I believe the exact opposite of this. I believe that movement is key and immobility is killing us (I actually just launched a coaching program that ensures movement and posture positive exercises at your workstation).

HOWEVER, I do believe in what Brightday offers because it is important to build the awareness around what is “good” posture. These muscles need training. The mind controls the body and the mind needs re”minding”.

This software is currently on Kickstarter, and I urge you to support this amazing endeavor. It’s bound to instantly provide value for you (especially since a year subscription only costs $49 for 1 user, with additional discounts for family and small office packages).

Brightday will “kickstart” you into better posture and without all that crazy posture pain, you are bound to have brighter days ahead!