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Not sure if your pain is due to bad posture, or if your bad posture is due to pain?

Is striving for a ‘perfect posture’ to get out of pain becoming a concept of the past?


Well, it just might! An increasing number of clinical research findings conclude that what used to be considered abnormal posture is playing a much smaller role in chronic pain than we previously thought. Instead of looking at poor posture as the culprit and cause of pain, it is now more and more often viewed as a ‘normal variation’ or even a useful adaptation from playing and excelling in a specific sport.


Take the example of scapular dyskinesis (a pathologic alteration in resting position and movement of the scapula). It is common but poorly associated with pain (Salahm, 2023). 48% of people WITHOUT shoulder pain had scapular dyskinesis and while the correlation with pain was a bit higher in overhead athletes, it remains unproven that their ‘abnormal movement’ is the cause of pain. Maybe it’s the other way around and it’s the pain that causes abnormal movement. A study by Plummer, et al concluded in 2017 that “scapular dyskinesis is an impairment that may represent normal movement variability” and that “the occurrence of scapular dyskinesis is not influenced by the presence of shoulder pain.”


Another study by Messier, et al (2018) examined the most likely causes of running injuries: Contrary to several long-held beliefs, flexibility, arch height, quadriceps angle, rearfoot motion, lower extremity strength, weekly mileage, footwear, and previous injury are not significant etiologic factors across all overuse running injuries. What did seem to contribute to the development of pain was the participants’ body weight (>80 kg) and sex (females were more likely to develop pain than males).


So why are we so Gung Ho on fixing poor posture? It all goes back to the traditional biomechanical model. When something hurts, doctors and therapists look at the structure where the pain is felt. If there is something visibly ‘wrong’, this must be the cause. Right?! Right??? WRONG!!!


The latest pain neuroscience research shows that the vast majority of pain is NOT caused by structural/physiological changes in the body. Instead, learned neural circuits in the brain are thought to be the culprit. But what has been learned can be unlearned, so that’s great news!

Stay tuned to learn more about integrative mind-body approaches and how YOU can apply them to retrain your brain to get rid of your pain.

Sources:

Salamh (2023): https://lnkd.in/guvgc4EY Todd Hargrove: www.bettermovement.com Plummer, et al (2017): https://lnkd.in/gQCx8GQg Messier, et al (2018): https://lnkd.in/gM-RsP7F Ashar, et al (2021): https://lnkd.in/ec5py7Kd

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