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Thread: Our Posture (bad backs of the modern age)

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    Our Posture (bad backs of the modern age)

    Unfortunately many of us denizens of the modern world are plagued with issues like chronic pain, fatigue, sleeplessness, being overweight, being sedentary and a horrible diet. And each of these factors compounds the other, and it's up to each of us to break the cycle in our lives. Americans, in particular, are prone to taking too many medications and rely too heavily on pharmaceuticals to alleviate their pain, rather than making changes to their lifestyles. (Fortunately I haven't fallen into the pharmaceutical trap, and I only take a pill as a last resort.)

    After being fed up with neck and back pain, and a partial fascination with a documentary I watched about centenarians around the world, a few years ago I made the decision to revert to a more Mediterranean-style diet, and to exercise 4-5x per week (I swim 40+ laps almost everyday), and that has helped me tremendously, but I still have to cope with residual effects of (occupation-induced) neck and back discomfort.

    Then my brother sent me this interesting article from NPR yesterday: "Lost Posture."

    The author explains her theory as to why people from the under-developed world do not suffer from chronic pain issues the way we Americans do. She believes it is because they actually know how to stand, sit and walk properly, while we Americans have forgotten how to do that.
     
    My avatar is the Turkic-Bulgar symbol of the Mamluk sultan, Baybars, whose name means "chief leopard." He transplanted the steppe-style comitatus and postal system to the sultanate, and installed his secret couriers to operate it. (My surname is a relic of these Kipchak-Cuman couriers.) This leopard symbol is often found on structures he commissioned throughout Palestine. A similar one is used as the emblem of the Kazan Tatars, and is portrayed as a snow leopard, Aq-Bars.

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    ^ I've had this problem for a while though it seems it's not so much a bad back as much as shortened hamstrings. Sitting for hours is murder on the hamstrings, so I try to stretch the legs as much as possible and it seems to help, but the main solution is limiting computer/desk time and moving as much as possible.
     

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    ^ Funny, I just recently read a paper linking lumbar disc pain in humans to the structure of chimp spines!
     

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    Genetics or good advertising

    If you compare what some of our most recent ancestors
    had to endure in terms of day to day physical labor
    and discomforts . Compare the maladies of
    today to that of baby boomers it would seem
    we are either getting softer and softer genetically
    or Madison Ave is making us all hypochondriacs .

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    Quote Originally Posted by AJL View Post
    ^ I've had this problem for a while though it seems it's not so much a bad back as much as shortened hamstrings. Sitting for hours is murder on the hamstrings, so I try to stretch the legs as much as possible and it seems to help, but the main solution is limiting computer/desk time and moving as much as possible.
    I also suffered from short hamstrings, couldnt reach below the knee . Stretching a couple times a week resulted in touching my toes.
    Ot
    The backpain of this age is in my opinion the result of weak back muscle as a result of lazyness. Doing some back workouts once a week will help enormously (did for me).

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    For those with constant mid-back and shoulder aching, a quick pro-tip;

    A couple times a week, grab a loaded barbell (start with 40kg's if female, 60kg's if male) with a supinated (palms pointed up) grip with your arms hanging straight down, stand tall, extend your thoracic spine (rotate it outwards in front of you, "puffed chest"), brace your core, squeeze your lower lat muscles down (as if you're tucking them into your back pockets), and finally squeeze your glutes ("hip thrusting" into the bar). In the mirror, it should appear as if you're just standing there with the bar. Maintain this for as long as you can for 2-3 sets.

    This entire set-up is in effect reversing the negative effect countless hours of sitting hunched over on a desk causes. It's helped me massively relieve shoulder and thoracic spine aching, as well as strengthening grip. A physio taught me that last year.

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    I suffer from lower back pain due to too much sitting infront of the pc. Not all lower back pain is due to a weak back, though. There are two conditions that can cause the pain, anterior pelvic tilt and posterior pelvic tilt:



    Anterior pelvic tilt, what I have, is caused by weak abdominals and hamstrings, and shortened back muscles and quadriceps. So strenghtening the back would make it worse. Instead it requires strengthening of the abs and hamstrings, and stretching of the back and quads. Vice versa for posterior pelvic tilt.

    This is a good two part seris on the matter:
    Last edited by Sangarius; 09-27-2015 at 07:39 PM. Reason: grammar

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    Never thought I'd see Alan Thrall linked on Anthrogenica... He's an excellent resource.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    Never thought I'd see Alan Thrall linked on Anthrogenica... He's an excellent resource.
    If you want to get big Yes, his diet plans are superb

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