No one will deny that the muscular well-toned bodies of weight lifters present an impressive sight. But will it surprise you to learn that many athletes and specialists in body building such as these weight lifters are not necessarily the perfect specimens of human physique that their outward appearance may lead you to think? Once again, you cannot judge a book by its cover, because it is simple truth that a tough outer shell can too easily conceal an inner biomechanical dysfunction. The apparently healthy athlete is just as prone to pain and injury as is the rest of the population.
Approximately two-thirds of the population will suffer from some degree of back pain during their lifetime. This ailment is frequently linked to the age factor as if it was something inevitable. But the age factor is simply not critical. Young and old alike should acknowledge that proper respect for the spine can alleviate back pain and other problems that can arise.
Like any other functioning structure, the architectural masterpiece that is the human body requires a strong base of support to give it strength and stability. This base is nothing more exotic than the human spine. A strong spinal column is the critical factor in all of this. It is the means to correct posture, that essential element of good body functioning. A quick revision in biology will remind you that the spine has three basic curves. During the course of a lifetime, our bodies are subjected to a myriad of activities and stresses that can alter our body’s structure, tightening muscles that can pull on the spine and weakening muscles that should be supporting it. Those necessary curves are thereby altered and compensation takes place. The head or chin may jut forward. The back may round and the shoulders drop or roll forward. The ribcage may sink down into the body restricting breathing and pushing the abdominal wall out. The hip or shoulder may elevate on one side. The feet may turn out or drop at the arches. Quite often pain is the result.
Try this simple test. Stand before a mirror and glance at yourself. Look at yourself from the front and then from the side. Do you notice any of the alterations mentioned above? Now simply lift the ribcage and notice the change. Many of the deviations will have been corrected with that one simple movement. So the question is – how do you keep it there? The answer is simple. Stretch the tight muscles pulling on the spine and strengthen the weak muscles to enable them to support the spine and thereby create a stronger, more stable and better functioning body.
Make the achievement and maintenance of postural correction and spinal stability your goal. Simple exercises with minimal or no equipment can be enough to accomplish this. Because of the critical importance of this stability, you would be wise to consult with certified persons who will advise you on exercises and activities that will correct and enhance your posture. And as an added bonus – your quality of life may also receive a much need boost!