You have pain. Let’s say it’s in the knee. It makes sense that you’d want to do exercises that would strengthen the knee, right? Not necessarily.
Although there may be underlying issues in the knee, there is a chance that the knee pain is only the result of an overall postural imbalance. If this is the case, the knee is not to blame. Some simple posture exercises that treat the body as a unit are the key. Very often, the symptom is not where you should focus your attention.
TREAT THE BODY AS A UNIT
You cannot affect one part of the body without changing the entire body. In this particular case, this postural dysfunction is coming from the hips and feet. To focus on the symptom of the knees would do nothing to correct this. But if we were to address the cause, then we would be able to change this dysfunction. The exercise I would recommend for this particular postural imbalance would be foot circles (see the February newsletter for how to do this exercise). Of course there are other dysfunctions in the body that we also need to address.
HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE DYSFUNCTION IS COMING FROM?
It's a complicated series of cause and effect. But with enough practice, you can get a good idea of what caused what. When doing posture therapy, you want to address the causes (dysfunctions) not the effects (compensations).
Proper posture is visual evidence that your muscles are working together as they should be. There is a balance between left-right, front-back, inside-outside. Likewise, poor posture is visual evidence that your body is out of balance. Posture gives us clues about which exercises will benefit you and which you may not need.
When an imbalance occurs, we feel it in a variety of ways. Maybe it’s just a decrease in energy, maybe a twinge in the back, maybe a numbness down the leg or arm. By tracing the cause of the pain back to a postural imbalance, we can align the body and the symptoms go away.
So where do you start?
Look in a full-length mirror and determine where you deviate from the human design posture (90-degree angles forming a grid with your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles). Is one shoulder higher than the other? Does one hip rotate forward? Do your feet turn out? These are all postural dysfunctions (remember, posture doesn’t just refer to your spine).
If you have any questions about your particular postural imbalances, come in for a free consultation and we’ll show you. Then we can begin a specific plan to correct your imbalances and restore you to proper posture.
The results are decreased pain and increased energy. And it starts with just observing yourself and how your body moves.
When your body is balanced and functional, you are more athletic and have less pain. We can re-establish our body’s functional posture regardless of age, ability, or past experience. As humans, this is our design.
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Stop relying on willpower, motivational tricks, and pump-up strategies and learn how to top into your inner fitness fire with Chris' 60-minute audio book: Ignite Your Fitness Passion (published 2015)
Relieve your back pain with this easy-to-follow video program designed to get to the root cause of your pain: muscle imbalance. Check out the Back Pain Module.
Learn the basic principles that make a successful fitness program with Chris' 60-page book, Functional Strength: The Key To Pain-Free Movement (published 2008)