Primal Posture as Remedy for Backaches

Dr. Arun Sigdel
Orthopaedic Surgeon
The posture of our ancestor was different. Their posture was stiff. But actually they were showing proper posture. The human spine is shaped like ‘S’ which is normal anatomy. But, despite that s-curve, for thousand of years humans held their bodies with a much straighter back. Modern people have lost that primal posture. Most pain can be attributed to how we hold ourselves and how we move. Since we aren’t born with a user’s manual, we rely on our culture to guide us. Our bodies heal spontaneously, and if we respect our natural design, we can function well for close to a century.
Postural dysfunction or “Poor” posture is defined as when our spine is positioned in unnatural positions, in which the curves are emphasised and this results in the joints, muscles and vertebrae being in stressful positions. We should stop hunching at our laptop and sit straight. Not only does good posture makes us look more confident, it also saves us from decades of back pain. According to a new theory, a perfect primal posture can eliminate existing back problems and prevent the spinal disk degeneration that can cause future issues.
Esther Gokhale, developed two effective methods known as Foundation Training and Gokhale Method to teach people primal posture. She studied the posture of people throughout the world and believed that our modern lifestyle is causing serious problem. She found that people are doing very less manual work. But Gokhale didn’t see two big curves in people who don’t have back pain. “That S shape is actually not natural,” she said. “It’s a J-shaped spine that you want.” Achieving this perfect primal posture and making just a few minor tweaks can relieve your pain and save you from future agony, Gokhale told. You already have the under control excess fat around your waist which can pull your spine forward and out of alignment. So, maintaining a healthy weight is crucial. Focus should be on keeping your upper back straight and preventing our shoulders from rolling forward into a hunch while sitting or standing. Gokhale believed that a J-shaped spine that includes a straight back with the lumbar relatively flat and the buttocks slightly protruding is best for good posture, and is much more natural.
Contributing Factors to Postural Dysfunction
• Lack of education or awareness of correct posture
• Sedentary lifestyle
• Poor ergonomic work-stations
• Occupational demands
• Joint stiffness
• Decreased fitness
• Muscle weakness or tightness
• Poor core stability
Tips to reduce the risk of Backache right from the Start
As widely known “Prevention is better than Care”, even if you’re not experiencing back pain symptoms, I would recommend you follow these simple tips:
• Maintain good posture and optimal weight to keep your spine in proper alignment.
• Always stretch before any strenuous physical activity; engage in a regular stretching program.
• Sit in chairs or car seats with good lumbar support.
• Switch your sitting positions often gently stretching your muscles to relieve tension.
• Do not slouch when standing or sitting.
• Avoid bending over without supporting your back.
• Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes.
• Sleep onto your side on a firm surface to reduce any curve in your spine.
• When lifting weight using your legs, always keep your back straight.
• Avoid smoking which reduces blood flow to your lower spine, causing spinal discs to degenerate.
• Get enough vitamin D from sun exposure daily, helps keep your bones strong.
• Drink plenty of water to enhance the height of your intervertebral disks. Since your body is composed mostly of water, staying hydrated reduces stiffness.
Sometimes backaches can get severe. I recommend to visit a doctor if any sign below is seen:
• Back pain associated with trauma, fever and/or unexplained weight loss.
• Pain is constant and getting worse for more than four to six weeks.
• Pain is severe and does not improve after a day or two of typical remedies, such as rest, ice and common pain relievers.
• Pain is worse at night (most common forms of back pain are alleviated by rest)
• Abdominal pain that accompanies the back pain
• Neurological problem such as altered sensation in the saddle area, weakness, numbness or tingling in the legs or arms.

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