Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Massage Stick is a Magic Stick

Question:
Hello there. Ever since I was a child I've had very poor posture: rounded upper spine and forward shoulders. From about the age of 13, I made an effort to try and straighten my posture but this caused me back, neck and leg stiffness. I'm now 17 and practically all my muscles are tight (neck, back,triceps, biceps hamstrings, shins, pelvis, calves etc!!) and my posture still remains poor and the only way I can stand or sit tall is to force myself to stand upright which is very uncomfortable. A sports coach told me I have very poor core stability which is the cause of my problems.What is the best way to deal with my problems? Physiotherapy, massage, Pilate's?? Your help would be much appreciated, I'm only 17 and feel like an old man!!!Many thanks, Mark


Answer:

I understand what you are experiencing. Your coach is semi-correct. It sounds like you have a very increased kyophotic posture. If you are 17 years of age, I am assuming you also spend alot of time in front of a computer chatting with friends or playing video games. Two very detrimental positions for your posture. Although, I think your coach is partially correct with his observation of a "weak core" (which most do), I recommend something else before beginning some "core exercises". I STRONGLY suggest you begin a soft tissue program to help your poor posture. In some areas (especially where you noted) you may have developed adhesions on the surface of the muscle that causes it to "tighten". These adhesions make your muscles uncomfortable and cause restriction in their normal range of motion. This is what is causing you pain and discomfort. Regular massages from a licensed therapist can help relieve that, but that will cost money.

An easier way to deal with this is performing "self-massage" with some tools. You can use a Massage Stick and a high density foam roller. If you'd like to learn more about this tool, I speak extensively about the Massage Stick here. If you work on improving the quality of the muscle tissue, you will find your posture will begin to improve. Once you see some improvement, you can begin some core exercises like planks, hip bridges, and side planks. Best of luck!
John

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