Sit up straight! Your parents told you, your grandparents nagged you, and more and more, we're learning the impacts posture has on your health.
Sixty-five million people in the U.S. deal with back pain every year. Better posture can give you more energy, less stress, and less pain.
Dr. Joanne Halbrecht focuses on making others feel good.
"Everyone I see has neck issues and shoulder issues," said Dr. Halbrecht, who works at the Boulder Institute of Sports Medicine. "It happens to everyone."
As a massage therapist, her job is centered around the mind, body, and wellness.
When Lisa Lowery started feeling pain, she thought she knew what to do.
"I tried taking ibuprofen, Aleve, doing some stretches, and nothing really helped," Lowery recalled.
Soon it got so bad, she couldn't even get a good night's rest. She finally decided to see a doctor.
When Lowery explained where the pain was originally coming from, the cause of the pain made perfect sense.
"See, I told you to sit up straight, just like your mom or grandma used to say. And it's right," Halbrecht said.
The cause was poor posture.
"At night when we're lying down flat, the inflammation builds up in the shoulder and can give that dull aching in that shoulder." explained Halbrecht.
A lot can play into your poor posture; it's not just sitting at your desk all day, working on the computer. Your smartphones are to blame, too!
"There are a lot of everyday things [that can lead to poor posture], where you are in that bad position... more than I even realized," Lowery said. As technology is becoming more advanced and frequent in our lives, so are the doctor visits.
But ladies, it could also be those high heels, or even a woman's natural body.
"That increased height in the heel can throw your body forward. So you often see people in heels, where there heads are forward," said the doctor. Halbrecht added, "They've had those breasts their whole lives. And over time those muscles around the shoulder blades become weak. If we can strengthen them, we can relieve the pain."
Surgery used to be the answer.
"What we didn't realize 20 years ago is that we were removing normal anatomy," she said. "So it would correct the pain, but not the underlying problem."
Today, physical therapy and stretching are the first steps in reversing the pain.
That worked for Lowery.
"It was a huge relief from my mind that I probably wouldn't have to have surgery," she said.
No surgery. Better posture. Better sleep. They are all creating a healthier life, moving forward.
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