As you get older, chances are that you may experience some form of arthritis. The Centers for Disease Control state that between 2013-2015, 54.4 million Americans were diagnosed with some form of arthritis (including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, fibromyalgia or gout). The cost of arthritis in 2013 was estimated to be $304 billion.* Osteoarthritis is a condition of joint inflammation where the cartilage that cushions your joints wears down and you can end up with bone rubbing against bone, causing pain. That pain tends to lead to restricted movement, and with restricted movement the synovial fluid that nourishes the joints [...]
Jean Couch and Spinefulness were featured in another NPR segment titled, “Can’t Get Comfortable in Your Chair? Here’s What You Can Do”: https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/24/649169060/cant-get-comfortable-in-your-chair-heres-what-you-can-do The NRP story mentions that in the past, most people sat on chairs that were firm & flat, usually made of wood. As new materials became available, designers used them to create new styles of chairs, which weren’t always good for our spinal alignment. One example mentioned is a chair designed in 1929 – the “Barcelona chair” – that became popular in the US in the 1950s. They look like chairs that I’ve seen and sat in [...]
Here is another segment that NPR did on Spinefulness on September 24, 2018, titled "Can't Get Comfortable In Your Chair? Here's What You Can Do": https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2018/09/24/649169060/cant-get-comfortable-in-your-chair-heres-what-you-can-do I'll follow up with a blog post on my take on the story. Enjoy!
On August 21, 2018, Jenn Sherer was interviewed for “Good Morning America” in a segment titled “How changing the way you sit can help decrease back pain.” Jenn worked with Jean Couch at the Balance Center until it closed earlier this year. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MELcgwe2j8M Jenn mentions that it’s not sustainable to lift the chest all day long. It’s exhausting and can make your back sore. When you notice that you’re slumped, rather than tightening everything in an attempt to “sit up straight”, re-seat yourself, making sure that you bend at your hip joints as you sit down. Following the segment featuring [...]
I was excited to hear that Balance/Spinefulness was covered in another NPR health story! The story, “To Fix That Pain in Your Back, You Might Have to Change the Way You Sit” aired on 8/13/18 on “Morning Edition”. The reporter, Michaeleen Doucleff, had experienced a lot of back pain, but got relief from learning Spinefulness posture from Jenn Sherer (http://www.spinefulness.com/), formerly Jean Couch’s business partner at the Balance Center in Palo Alto. Is Sitting "The New Smoking"? The idea that “sitting is the new smoking” was discredited in this story. Doucleff interviewed anthropologist David Raichlen, who has found that modern [...]
Spinefulness was covered on NPR again on 8/13/18! The story is called "To Fix That Pain in Your Back, You Might Have to Change the Way You Sit", and Jenn Sherer teaches journalist Michaeleen Doucleff how to sit to eliminate her back pain. Check it out here: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2018/08/13/636025077/to-fix-that-pain-in-your-back-you-might-have-to-change-the-way-you-sit. For my take on the story, check out my other blog post from 8/22/18 - "Change How You Sit, Change Your Pain".
I just read an article on Shape Magazine’s website called “Hold Up – Is the Barre Tuck Actually Bad for You?” The article talks about the “barre tuck” done in barre fitness classes. I haven’t been to a barre class, but I’ve been to many dance classes before (when I was a Flamenco dancer) where we were told to tuck the pelvis under. It was considered to improve our posture and our dance technique. What I’ve since learned about posture, after studying with Jean Couch of the Balance Center in Palo Alto, is that it actually does neither. I followed [...]
Do you find after sitting for long periods that your tailbone is achy or sore? Coccyx or tailbone pain, or "coccydynia" is less common than low back pain, but can be very painful and annoying. I've experienced this, and have found that posture has a huge impact on the level of pain in this area. Where is your coccyx, or tailbone? Your coccyx or tailbone is a small bony section at the bottom of the spine. It's normally composed of 3-5 segments which are usually fused, and it's attached to your sacrum, which is the most posterior (rear) part of [...]
Many people I meet are concerned about getting more rounded and stooped over as they get older. I know I was! Your thoracic vertebrae (in the upper spine) have a slight forward curve naturally (a "Kyphosis"). In many people in the industrialized world, this curve can become extreme. When the extreme curve is high up in the thoracic area and into the cervical spine (neck area), it is sometimes called a "Dowager's Hump". This can lead to back and neck pain, due to strain on the muscles that occurs with misaligned posture, and loss of height. Over time, this change [...]
Do you find yourself complaining about how uncomfortable furniture is? Do you squirm a lot, constantly shifting your posture to get comfortable? This is really common. There are 2 big challenges these days to getting comfortable when sitting: 1) Our modern misaligned posture and 2) Our modern unhealthy chairs. How can you deal with these challenges? To deal with the first issue of misaligned posture, I'll refer you to previous articles on my blog. Try searching under the "sitting" category. You can find a link to my YouTube video on Pain-Free Sitting as well as an article on "10 Tips [...]