A key aspect to pain reduction throughout our bodies is to practice ideal alignment of our joints, lengthening our spines as bend and move with good mechanics (building stamina vs adding to wear and tear). A significant part of the teaching that comes from working with me as a PT is body education; to understand the root of what contributes to pain (especially when its chronic). I often describe the spine like a stack of rocks and give the analogy that if your vertebra (rocks) are not vertically stacked the muscles that are supporting them from falling over are prone to strain. So why is good posture such a chore and even hurt initially to maintain?…..
Over a year ago, I was thrilled to come across the Gokhale Method: 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back. This book gives an excellent step by step approach to learn how to sit, sleep, stand, walk and bend in ways that promote healthy posture and movement patterns. I’ve taught similar methodology and find it helpful to have this information as an additional take home resource for patients. Their platform of publications and workshops assist you to relearn simple ways that we as humans carried ourselves before our culture developed such poor habits within the last few generations. Our ancestors did not have such high rates of disability and back pain, so how did we evolve so quickly to find it painful to even maintain an erect frame? The rates of back pain in industrialized cultures are up to 90% higher than in other countries where back pain is virtually unknown. This book shares detailed photos of many cultures and the ways we have adapted to our environment, furniture, fashion and comparatively sedentary lifestyles. Seeing is believing, but truly being able to practice it and feel greater strength and ease in daily life is a blessing. To learn more about these 8 steps you may visit gokalemethod.com. If you’d like a personalized plan for movement re-education, body mechanics tips, and hands on therapy to improve alignment, Physical Therapy would be an excellent addition to your healing path. In health, Holly Hamilton DPT