Monthly Archives: June 2012

Examples of Bad Posture

The Thinker by Auguste Rodin, one of the most recognizable sculptures in Western Culture, is an example of really bad posture. I’ve added the skeleton to show that his rib cage sags and constricts his breathing. His lower back is … Continue reading

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Rear and Side View Car Mirrors

A panoramic rear view mirror* became a necessity when my neck muscles were so spasmed I could barely turn my head.  To this day, I still use a panoramic rear view mirror, because it feels wrong not to.  Why don’t … Continue reading

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Fitness Classes

I don’t know how common this is, but many of the stretching/strengthening exercises in my first fitness class at a local senior center (yes, I am that old.) involve bending forward with the back in flexion and few or no … Continue reading

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Habit Formation, Exercise and Posture

As much as possible, the brain converts repeated actions into automatic routines or habits in a process called chunking. Once chunked, behavioral routines require minimal attention or mental energy to perform. All that’s needed is a cue (or trigger) that … Continue reading

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Neck Pain From Using Cell Phones, Tablets and Laptops

My son, a personal trainer, mentioned that one of his clients was complaining of neck pain. He asked her how often she used her new Kindle Fire. It turned out that excessive tablet use coupled with poor posture was the … Continue reading

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Do Glucosamine and Chondroitin help arthritis?

Well designed studies say no (see “Glucosamine and Chondroitin for Arthritis: Benefit is Unlikely” by Stephen Barrett, M.D. at Quackwatch. In brief: the largest and best study, the Gait or Glucosamine/Chondroitin Arthritis Intervention Trial, showed virtually no pain relief and … Continue reading

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Yoga

As a teenager I dabbled in it, but either injured myself as when I tried a yoga headstand and strained my neck, or began wondering what all that extreme twisting and bending was doing to my joints and ligaments. I … Continue reading

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Two articles of interest for those considering back surgery

A New England Journal of Medicine article–Surgery versus Prolonged Conservative Treatment for Sciatica, Conclusions: “The 1-year outcomes were similar for patients assigned to early surgery and those assigned to conservative treatment with eventual surgery if needed, but the rates of … Continue reading

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Pillows

When my neck pain was bad, I went through—I can’t remember how many pillows…firm, soft, overstuffed, feathers, brand names, hotel, orthopedic etc.—trying to find one that didn’t leave my neck worse in the morning. Finally I took a medium polyester … Continue reading

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Mattresses

When my back was painful and spasmed because I had to sleep motionless on my back all night long (because of my neck), my new Beautyrest mattress was just as hard on my back as the old Sealy Posturepedic. I … Continue reading

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