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It is not WHAT you do, but HOW you do what you do

I often see articles such as "Do These 4 Exercises and Get Rid of Back Pain"; "Beginning Yoga Exercises to Strengthen Your Core/ Relieve Pain", etc. I read them and for the most part, hope people do not do what the articles suggest.

The article linked below has some information I disagree with but also some information I agree with.

Point: If exercise exacerbates pain you are having, DO NOT DO the exercises as you have been doing them.

Find someone knowledgeable to work with you.

For example, I can watch how someone is doing "an exercise" or holding themselves, see how that is contributing to/creating their pain, and help guide them to explore and make changes related to postural use/holding.

Point: It is not WHAT you do, but HOW you do what you do. It is not just "lack of strength". or even "improper alignment", that contribute to dysfunction/pain. Another important factor is the QUALITY with which we hold ourselves in movement and at rest. Quality: "A distinctive attribute or characteristic" (Oxford Languages Dictionary) The "characteristic"s of gripping, restricting, narrowing, often contribute to pain and restriction- for example, compressing the space between joints, or locking muscles rigidly to support structure. More ideally, adjusting the use of muscles to support with the strength that comes from resilience and pliability, will help to reduce pain and restriction. The "characteristic" of lack of awareness or lack of support often contributes to injury and pain- for example, with a poor sense of awareness, our muscle tone often cannot provide the support that structures need, no matter how hard we try to "strengthen" . Often attempts to strengthen then end up with rigidly held muscles that still do not provide the type of support we need.

I will watch you and guide you, either verbally or hands-on, to help bring you to an an increased sense of awareness of how the qualities with which you hold yourself/move/rest in stillness mingle with your alignment and strength, and how these can come together to support you and to reduce pain, restriction, and injury.

From the article:

"To the researchers’ surprise, both elite athletes and regular people with lower back pain had a similar stiffness in and lack of control over their spine, which is indicative of a similar pattern of weakness in their back muscles...."

Perhaps to the researchers' surprise, but not to the surprise of some of us.

"Dr. Moreno Catalá said it is less about the amount of muscular strength and more about the ability to finely control the activation and deactivation of all the muscles that stabilize the spine...."

This is an important factor, but not the only one.


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