What Could Really Change The World’s Well-Being Issues?…

What Could Really Change The World’s Well-Being Issues?

Hint: It doesn’t need to be your thought or idea.

Imagine a scenario where you think of a thought that tends to something we would all be able to change to improve our prosperity.

Why? Since no single virtuoso has ever had enough — all alone — to make something awesome on a world-notable scale. It takes a group. It generally has. Yes, a team!

So, for what reason don’t we prefer to take a look at virtuoso as such? We cherish attempting to recognize the “genuine” virtuoso at work in anything incredible. “Was Steve Jobs the genuine brain at work behind Apple?” we’ll inquire. Or on the other hand: “Didn’t he take a lot of thoughts from IBM? What did he really ‘develop,’ in any case?”

However, here’s the hint: The absence of clear language to depict the procedure of shared virtuoso makes it harder for us to think of more virtuoso stuff. The most ideal approach to make extremely superb things is to take a gander at how other individuals have made them and to check whether exercises can be scholarly.

“More prominent love hath no man than this; or, the estimation of a mutual virtuoso.”

The light, electricity, the Bible, and even our best pop songs — those are thoughts that have changed the world.

Be that as it may, notwithstanding something like this — 3,000 words on a site — takes more than any one individual’s thoughts. Furthermore, building up a superior language for examining the shared idea of creation will help every one of us not simply to comprehend the obligations we owe each other, yet in addition to thinking of better thoughts later on.

Harvard Health says, “Take a great posture. You can improve your posture by rehearsing some symbolism and a couple of simple activities. Symbolism. Think about a straight line going through your body from the roof to floor (your ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and lower legs ought to be even and line up vertically).”

Regardless of whether they can, is it really conceivable to improve posture?

Wellbeing cognizant individuals are spooky by the possibility that they “should” right their posture, and numerous battles a constant, unsure, and monotonous fight against purposeful or imprudent abnormality, essentially as self-preservation against regular issues like neck torment, migraines, and particularly low back agony. In any case, is it a totally pointless pursuit? Can any a throbbing painfulness be followed to “poor stance” in any case? Regardless of whether they can, is it really conceivable to improve pose? The trademark ways that we sit and stand and walk are among the most grounded all things considered, with profound roots in character — thus changing your posture might be similarly as troublesome as to stop indulging eating, smoking, etc.. It would be wise to merit the exertion!

Posture/stance is additionally more than the entirety of those parts, more than “only” an accumulation of correcting and balancing out reflexes — it is the manner in which you live, the state of your adaptable “compartment,” the physical indication of your customary range of familiarity. We constantly hold ourselves and move in manners that serve social and enthusiastic needs, or abstain from conflicting with them: stance can be accommodating or predominant, glad or tragic, daring or frightful, unresponsive or unsettled. The difficulties and prizes of attempting to change stance are not simply musculoskeletal, and it very well may be a by and by the significant procedure. Examples and practices that lead to inconvenience are generally strong.4 This article does not get excessively “profound” and for the most part adheres to the musculoskeletal issues, however, the potential significance of stance merits a gesture.

Harvard Research has tirelessly demonstrated that experts experience difficulty conceding to precisely what’s up, and the “snugness” of muscles doesn’t appear to have a lot to do with their quality, or with torment, or truly anything that anybody can really work with. In the event, that specific muscles were really powerless in everybody displaying a specific stance, and those individuals would, in general, have certain issues, at that point, it would bode well to attempt to fortify those muscles explicitly. Be that as it may, they aren’t, and they don’t, so it doesn’t. Regarding individuals as though they have UCS — with focused extending, fortifying, and rub, say — doesn’t work any superior to anything, by and large, getting more exercise.

It’s astounding how regularly individuals don’t see postural pressure has an effect on your overall wellbeing.

Could addressing & keeping good posture change the world’s overall wellbeing?


It may sound strange to many readers, but many experts don’t think the idea of “poor posture” has any validity or utility at all — that there is essentially no such thing. I tend to agree, insofar as everything that is “real” about “poor posture” can probably be described just as well without using the term posture at all and avoiding all its baggage. However, I still seem some value in using the idea of posture. BACK TO TEXT

Belief in postural dysfunction can probably drive a nocebo — the opposite of a placebo: pain caused by the belief that something is wrong — plus even more harmful spinoff beliefs about general vulnerability and fragility, and often excessive zeal for postural “correction.” I have met people who were egregious posture hypochondriacs. BACK TO TEXT

PS Ingraham. Ten Trillion Cells Walked Into a Bar: A humourous and unusual perspective on how, exactly, a person is even able to stand up, let alone walk into a bar.  ❐ PainScience.com. 2679 words. BACK TO TEXT

And trying to change them runs you headlong into one of the most basic problems of all healing: if you were the kind of person who could readily avoid such problems in the first place, you already would have done it. Angels fear to tread here. BACK TO TEXT

Which is no big deal — happens to the best of us. And I also suspect that Dr. Janda would have advanced his ideas along with the rest of the field if he were still with us. The man had integrity and brains. I’d like to think he wouldn’t cling to a tired old theory that hasn’t worked out, and neither should we. Rather than focusing on the wrongness, let’s focus on where the field has gone in the decades since he first defined the crossed syndromes! BACK TO TEXT

Kneecaps evolved to jack up the leverage of the thigh muscles on the lower leg. The kneecaps push the quadriceps tendon forward, which gives the muscles a more favourable yanking angle. But there’s a price: the pressures under the kneecap reach truly astounding extremes. Even when the knee is just flexed, the pressure climbs quite high — enough to crush your finger like a walnut in a nutcracker, if you could get it in there. Sitting with your knees bent for long periods keeps the joint under that pressure. That’s a significant stress on the joint tissue that strongly correlates with the development of pain over time. It’s a perfect example of bad posture because it’s so avoidable, and because the danger isn’t obvious unless you understand knee joint mechanics and patellofemoral pain syndrome. For more information, see Save Yourself from Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome! BACK TO TEXT

Computer gaming companies are notorious for burning out young talent, eager new coders too inexperienced to realized the danger. They “sacrifice the body” for their work, unaware of the danger. They spend long hours hunched over their keyboards in conspicuously awkward postures. Although ergonomics are a factor, mostly these are just obliviously awful postures. It is noteworthy that most of them more or less get away with it and that many of them also begin to suffer acutely. Having worked with and known many programmers, I know that a great many of them eventually become enthusiasts about posture and ergonomics. BACK TO TEXT

Most people are at least dimly aware that sexual uptightness is a Puritan thing, that the Puritans bequeathed England and her colonies with the notion that pleasure is evil … and what’s more pleasurable than sex? (Possibly massage, and I doubt they liked that either.) Few people know that the Puritans also gave us the idea that rigid posture implies moral righteousness and strength of character. Postural laziness is a great moral failing in the Puritanical world view, which still pollutes the cultural DNA of modern civilization to a shocking degree. People still exaggerate the value of “good posture” for this reason, mostly unconsciously. BACK TO TEXT

Many seemingly poor postures are actually perfectly good, reasonable compromises, adaptations to unavoidable stresses and challenges. Most posture nuts forget this. If the cause of a posture is baked into your anatomy, trying to change it is going to hurt more than help, or it will just be futile. If your posture is caused by adaptation to a shortened leg bone dating back to a motorcycle accident twenty years ago, you aren’t going to have much success changing your posture. The context of poor posture is important! BACK TO TEXT

Remember, a lot of that “seeming” is just an irritating vestige of Puritan ideology. BACK TO TEXT

A friend of mine was once a manager at factory that made window and door frames and such. He often complained about how ignorant and foolish employees were. His most outrageous example was a young man he left alone with instructions to move a palette of wood weighing hundreds of kilos. He assumed the kid would use the pneumatic cart beside the palette, but when he returned a few minutes later he found the kid sitting on the floor, red-faced, sweating, straining mightily to drag the palette by hand. Amazingly, he had actually managed to move it a few centimetres. BACK TO TEXT

Grundy PF, Roberts CJ. Does unequal leg length cause back pain? A case-control study. Lancet. 1984 Aug 4;2(8397):256–8. PubMed #6146810. ❐This classic, elegant experiment found no connection between leg length and back pain. Like most of the really good science experiments, it has that MythBusters attitude: “why don’t we just check that assumption?” Researchers measured leg lengths, looking for differences in “lower limb length and other disproportion at or around the sacroiliac joints” and found no association with low back pain. “Chronic back pain is thus unlikely to be part of the short-leg syndrome.” Other studies since have backed this up, but this simple old paper remains a favourite.BACK TO TEXT

Cooperstein R, Lucente M. Comparison of supine and prone methods of leg length inequality assessment. J Chiropr Med. 2017 Jun;16(2):103–110. PubMed #28559750. ❐ PainSci #52779. ❐Assessments of leg length are common, both with the patient lying down or standing. Either could be reliable, but in this test they did not agree with each other. Two chiropractors with more than 30 years experience each assessed the same few dozen patients, and agreement between their results when they felt confident in them was “perfectly nil.“ Despite the widespread and confident use of each method, this test clearly suggests that at least one of them is unreliable, but it’s also entirely possible that both of them are.BACK TO TEXT

Hides J, Fan T, Stanton W, et al. Psoas and quadratus lumborum muscle asymmetry among elite Australian Football League players. Br J Sports Med. 2010 Jun;44(8):563–7. PubMed #18801772. ❐Researchers used MRI to measure the size of kicking muscles in 54 Australian Football League players — very serious athletes, these guys, playing a very rough sport — and found that “asymmetry of the psoas and the quadratus lumborum muscles exists in elite AFL players.” Such asymmetries are widely believed by therapists to be clinically significant. Manual therapists, if they suspected such a distinct asymmetry in muscle mass, would enthusiastically and almost unanimously embrace this significant lack of “balance” as a major risk factor for injury, and a likely suspect in whatever injury or pain problem a person might happen to be experiencing.However, the researchers also found that “asymmetry in muscle size was not related to number of injuries.”BACK TO TEXT

Roijezon U, Bjorklund M, Bergenheim M, Djupsjobacka M. A novel method for neck coordination exercise — a pilot study on persons with chronic non-specific neck pain. Journal of Neuroengineering & Rehabilitation. 2008 Dec;5(36). PubMed #19105826. ❐ PainSci #56159. ❐This is a quirky but dubious little study that conveniently omits a critical result from the abstract. The researchers strapped a rimmed platform to people’s heads and got them to practice controlling the movement of a ball rolling on the platform — so, basically a circus trick. The subjects (only 14 of them) ended up with less postural sway, less jerkiness in neck rotation, less fear of moving, less “disability,” and “increased general health” by various measures, all of which is mentioned in the abstract with the promising and confident-sounding conclusion that the results “support the clinical applicability of the method.” Sounds fairly good, doesn’t it? But there’s a huge gotcha: if you read the actual article, it turns out that the results involved no positive effect on pain levels whatsoever. “There was no significant decrease in VAS [pain scale] scores after the four-week training period, or at six-months follow up.” The disconnect between the results and the abstract indicate that the authors probably have a strong bias in favour of structuralism.BACK TO TEXT

This is actually a perfectly logical extension of the pre-scientific chiropractic belief that spinal alignment is crucial to the health of organ systems. It really isn’t. See Organ Health Does Not Depend on Spinal Nerves!BACK TO TEXT

Guimond S, Massrieh W. Intricate correlation between body posture, personality trait and incidence of body pain: a cross-referential study report. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e37450. PubMed #22624034. ❐ PainSci #54298. ❐The researchers looked for correlations between personality traits, postures and pain. They claim that “overall, our studies establish a novel correlative relationship between personality, posture, and pain,” but the paper is sloppy to the point of being useless. There are many red flags here. For instance, words like “overall” in that context are usually code for “we know it could be easily questioned, but in our opinion our data confirms our beliefs.” The main text kicks off with a clearly stated assumption that posture is a factor in pain. Two footnotes provided for this premise are vivid examples of particularly 13 Kinds of Bogus Citations(specifically “the curve ball” and “the backfire”). This kind of quality is generally typical of “posturology” papers.BACK TO TEXT

Barrett E, O’Keeffe M, O’Sullivan K, Lewis J, McCreesh K. Is thoracic spine posture associated with shoulder pain, range of motion and function? A systematic review. Man Ther. 2016 Dec;26:38–46. PubMed #27475532. ❐This is a review of ten scientific studies of the relationship between shoulder pain and thoracic spine posture, specifically kyphosis, the slouched or “hunchback” upper back curvature widely assumed to be a cause of pain. Six of the studies were judged to have a moderate to high risk of bias. Collectively these studies produced “moderate” evidence of no relationship: that is, there’s “no significant difference in thoracic kyphosis between groups with and without shoulder pain.” One study (with a high risk of bias) contradicted the others, identifying more kyphosis in people with shoulder pain. There is strong evidence that shoulder movement is greater if you’re straighter.BACK TO TEXT

Ettinger B, Black DM, Palermo L, et al. Kyphosis in older women and its relation to back pain, disability and osteopenia: the study of osteoporotic fractures. Osteoporos Int. 1994 Jan;4(1):55–60. PubMed #8148573. ❐Posture is widely assumed to be a cause of pain, especially back pain, but even one of the most classic poor postures — kyphosis, excessive upper back curvature, “hunching over” — doesn’t seem to cause any trouble. In this study of 600 older women, not even the 10% with the worst kyphosis had “substantial chronic back pain, disability, or poor health.”BACK TO TEXT

What about in 20 years? She was in her late 20s. She might well develop more serious pain. Much that doesn’t bother us in our 3rd decade of life will drive us up the wall in the 5th. Postural stresses may be very slow-motion problems. Nevertheless, her example clearly shows that it is possible to live fairly comfortably even with a major postural challenge — at least for a while. BACK TO TEXT

This is less alarming than it sounds. His facial bones have remodelled themselves so that his eyes are level with the horizon. If he straightens his neck — which feels crooked to him — his eyes are disconcertingly lopsided! But when his neck is bent to the side, he looks and feels quite normal — just a slightly head-cocked posture. BACK TO TEXT

Akhaddar A, Boucetta M. Dislocation of the Cervical Spine. N Engl J Med. 2010 May 20;362(1920).PainSci #55145. ❐ BACK TO TEXT

Grob D, Frauenfelder H, Mannion AF. The association between cervical spine curvature and neck pain. Eur Spine J. 2007;16(5):669–678. PubMed #17115202. ❐ PainSci #56033. ❐Perhaps this paper should be titled: “The lack of association between cervical spine curvature and neck pain.” In 2007, Swiss researchers examined “the correlation between the presence of neck pain and alterations of the normal cervical lordosis,” and this was probably “the first study to explicitly examine these relationships in detail.”Many therapists assume that there is not only a correlation but a causal relationship, a classic example of structuralism. However, looking at more than 50 patients with and 50 without neck pain — a large enough study to be meaningful — the researchers found “no significant difference between the two groups could be found in relation to the global curvature, the segmental angles, or the incidence of straight-spine or kyphotic deformity.” Thus they concluded that “the presence of such structural abnormalities in the patient with neck pain must be considered coincidental, i.e. not necessarily indicative of the cause of pain.”See also some substantive criticism of this paper.BACK TO TEXT

Gay RE. The curve of the cervical spine: variations and significance. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1993;16(9):591–4. PubMed #8133194. ❐This review of several papers about neck posture indicates that “a wide range of normal exists in the posture and configuration of the cervical spine,” and concludes, “There is little evidence to support the contention that altered cervical curvatures are of prognostic significance.”BACK TO TEXT

Richards KV, Beales DJ, Smith AJ, O’Sullivan PB, Straker LM. Neck Posture Clusters and Their Association With Biopsychosocial Factors and Neck Pain in Australian Adolescents. Phys Ther. 2016 May 12. PubMed #27174256. ❐ PainSci #53482. ❐ “The finding of no association between cluster membership and neck pain and headaches challenges widely held beliefs about the role of posture in adolescent neck pain.” BACK TO TEXT

Damasceno GM, Ferreira AS, Nogueira LA, et al. Text neck and neck pain in 18-21-year-old young adults.Eur Spine J. 2018 Jan. PubMed #29306972. ❐This study of 150 young adults found no link between neck pain and poor posture while texting, so-called “text neck.” The possibility of a link emerging over many years of text-neck posture has yet to be investigated, but this suggests that any long term link is probably minor, or there would be at least some detectable short-term link.BACK TO TEXT

McAviney J, Schulz D, Bock R, Harrison DE, Holland B. Determining the relationship between cervical lordosis and neck complaints. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2005;28(3):187–93. PubMed #15855907. ❐Researchers examined 277 neck x-rays and reported a “statistically significant association between cervical pain and lordosis < 20 degrees” — in other words, painful necks tended to be flattened necks (about 10 degrees flatter than the lower end of what they defined as normal). They concluded that “maintenance of a lordosis … could be a clinical goal for chiropractic treatment.” A cynic might point out that the authors were chiropractors, and the odds that they would identify a justification for chiropractic therapy in the data were approximately “very high.” (It is also unclear and implausible that chiropractic treatment is capable of achieving the clinical goal of “maintenance of lordosis.”)BACK TO TEXT

Studies like McAviney et al are a dime a dozen. You can easily find more like it. Their shoddiness only reinforces the point — the only studies that are “finding” a clear, important connection between posture and pain problems are the sloppy, self-serving ones. Ergo, there probably is no clear, important connection. BACK TO TEXT

It is entirely possible that pain alters posture — indeed it’s rather likely (see Hirata et al). Simply showing a correlation between a postural pattern and pain does not really tell us anything except that they have “something” to do with each other. BACK TO TEXT

O’Sullivan PB, Smith AJ, Beales DJ, Straker LM. Association of Biopsychosocial Factors With Degree of Slump in Sitting Posture and Self-Report of Back Pain in Adolescents: A Cross-Sectional Study. Phys Ther. 2011 Feb. PubMed #21350031. ❐ BACK TO TEXT

PS Ingraham. Your Back Is Not Out of Alignment: Debunking the obsession with alignment, posture, and other biomechanical bogeymen as major causes of pain.  ❐ PainScience.com. 19947 words. . BACK TO TEXT

PS Ingraham. Trigger Point Doubts: Do muscle knots exist? Exploring controversies about the existence and nature of so-called “trigger points” and myofascial pain syndrome.  ❐ PainScience.com. 13186 words. People experience muscle pain and acutely sensitive spots in muscle tissue that we call “muscle knots.” What’s going on? The dominant theory is that a trigger point is basically an isolated spasm of a small patch of muscle tissue. Unfortunately, trigger point science is half-baked and controversial, and it’s not even clear that it’s a “muscle” problem. Meanwhile, people keep hurting, and massage — especially self-massage — is a safe, cheap, reasonable way to try to help. That’s why I have a large tutorial devoted to how to self-treat “trigger points” — whatever they really are. BACK TO TEXT

Apply the leaning test above to a teenager and grandmother: who lasts longer? BACK TO TEXT

That phenomenon can be very pronounced. I have seen shoe soles nearly destroyed on one edge, and pristine on the other. I assume that something similar is going on inside joints: they are more resilient than shoes, but they obviously aren’t impervious. BACK TO TEXT

Knees are the most arthritic joint in the body, and also one the most likely to be vulnerable to posture. This in itself is an interesting clue. BACK TO TEXT

Bechard DJ, Birmingham TB, Zecevic AA, et al. Toe-out, lateral trunk lean, and pelvic obliquity during prolonged walking in patients with medial compartment knee osteoarthritis and healthy controls. Arthritis Care & Research. 2012 Apr;64(4):525–32. PubMed #22213740. ❐ Causality is a major problem with studies like this: it utterly lacks the scientific power to actually demonstrate causality. Nevertheless, I like that the authors actually considered the problem (too many researchers ignore it), and I do agree with their conclusion: “over 30 minutes of walking, these gait characteristics remain quite stable, suggesting they are not acute compensatory mechanisms in response to repetitive loading with subtle increases in pain.” That’s good thinking, I think. BACK TO TEXT

Dye writes, “ … certain individuals essentially are symptom free despite the presence of overt, radiographically, and scintigraphically [x-ray and bone scan] identifiable advanced degenerative changes of the patellofemoral joint.” There’s a lot more detail on this topic in my PFPS tutorial. BACK TO TEXT

Carney DR, Cuddy AJ, Yap AJ. Power posing: brief nonverbal displays affect neuroendocrine levels and risk tolerance. Psychol Sci. 2010 Oct;21(10):1363–8. PubMed #20855902. ❐This famous paper presents the original evidence that “power posing” will not only make people feel more powerful but also cause some hormonal changes: more testosterone, less cortistol (stress hormone). This was the inspiration for one of the most popular TED talks of all time, and subsequent studies conspicuously failed to replicate their results. There probably is a power-pose effect, just not a dramatic one (see Gronau 2017).(See more detailed commentary on this paper.)BACK TO TEXT

Quentin F. Gronau, Sara Van Erp, Daniel W. Heck, et al. A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology. 2017;2(1):123–138. PainSci #53062. ❐Carney et al infamously reported that “power poses” not only made people feel more powerful and daring, but that they had a biological fingerprint: more testosterone and less cortisol (stress hormone). And then the trouble started: “these power pose effects have recently come under considerable scrutiny,” which is a bit of an understatement: there have always been strong concerns about both the science itself and the way it was presented (premature hype).This meta-analysis took a crack at producing the “last word” on this topic. It was part of a special edition of Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology, in which Carney herself was deeply involved (see CRSP special issue on power poses: what was the point and what did we learn?). It concluded that follow-up evidence for the original finding was “very strong,” and yet with a spectacular hold-your-horses caveat: “when the analysis is restricted to participants unfamiliar with the effect, the meta-analysis yields evidence that is only moderate.”Translation: belief in the power of power posing will make you feel more powerful than power posing itself! Expectations seem to be the more potent active ingredient.“Expansive postures” probably do make people feel more powerful … but only a little. Unless you believe in them, in which case you’re really off to the races. Which is fine. (“Why not both?”)BACK TO TEXT

Bohns V, Wiltermuth S. It hurts when I do this (or you do that): Posture and pain tolerance. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. 2012 Jan;48(1):341–345. PainSci #54508. ❐ BACK TO TEXT

Richards KV, Beales DJ, Smith AJ, O’Sullivan PB, Straker LM. Neck Posture Clusters and Their Association With Biopsychosocial Factors and Neck Pain in Australian Adolescents. Phys Ther. 2016 May 12. PubMed #27174256. ❐ PainSci #53482. ❐ Cited above with regards to “text neck,” this study of 1100 teens also found that “Those classified as having slumped thorax forward/head posture were at higher odds of mild, moderate or severe depression. Those classified as upright posture exercised more frequently.” And more frequent exercisers are quite unlikely to be depressed. BACK TO TEXT

“God of the gaps” is an expression from atheism and skepticism. It refers to the way the idea of gods has always been used to fill in gaps in human knowledge: whatever we can’t explain in the universe is attributed to one god or another. Quackery proliferates in medical knowledge gaps like weeds between paving stones. “Gurus” set themselves up like little gods of those gaps: they exploit areas of mystery in life (and medicine), selling the appearance of answers in an area where there really aren’t many answers, if any. Posture is clearly a murky subject. Therefore there are gurus for it. This isn’t always a bad thing — it can be nice to have a thoughtful guide in the wilderness of knowledge — but usually it is. BACK TO TEXT

Interestingly, it’s not clear that a varied diet is all that it’s cracked up to be: there are many interesting examples of people thriving on amazingly boring and simple diets. And neither is it clear that a lot of miscellaneous activity makes much of a difference to posture. Perhaps someone could make a case for meditative stillness being the key to good posture! However, in both cases, variety is probably just a sensible gamble, because it is at least safe, if not important. BACK TO TEXT

Yang L, Cao C, Kantor ED, et al. Trends in Sedentary Behavior Among the US Population, 2001-2016.JAMA. 2019 Apr;321(16):1587–1597. PubMed #31012934. ❐ BACK TO TEXT

Wolff’s law and Davis’ law. There are two “laws” of tissue adaptation, one each for hard and soft tissue: Wolff’s law covers bone, but Davis’ law for soft tissue — muscles, tendons, and ligaments, fascia — is relatively obscure and imprecise. Many treatments are based on the idea of forcing adaptation or “toughening up” tissues. It has always been a reasonable idea, but what’s the “right” amount and kind of stress? Results vary widely. See Tissue Provocation Therapies: Can healing be forced? The laws of tissue adaptation & therapies like prolotherapy & Graston Technique. BACK TO TEXT

Csapo R, Maganaris CN, Seynnes OR, Narici MV. On muscle, tendon and high heels. J Exp Biol. 2010 Aug;213(Pt 15):2582–8. PubMed #20639419. ❐ PainSci #55265. ❐High heels are often vilified, but this carefully done 2010 study showed that the body adapts effectively and minimally, producing quite similar functional results. The most interesting implication of their results is simply that “muscle structure may adapt to a chronic change in functional demand” — which might seem obvious, but that little bit of science has been hard to nail down over the years, and this is a good piece of the puzzle.Chronic heel wearers do have shortened calf muscles, stiffer Achilles tendons, and a smaller ankle range of motion, but these changes “seem to counteract each other since no significant differences in static or dynamic torques were observed.” In other words, high heel wearers are not progressively disabled: their ankles work fine, just differently. This doesn’t mean there’s no conceivable harm (for instance, Kerriganfound evidence of harm to the knees), but it does tend to downgrade concern on the topic.BACK TO TEXT

Venkataraman VV, Kraft TS, Dominy NJ. Tree climbing and human evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2012 Dec. PubMed #23277565. ❐ PainSci #54672. ❐ BACK TO TEXT

The Guardian [Internet]. Burkeman O. This column will change your life: adjust your defaults; 2012 Dec 22 [cited 14 Nov 27]. BACK TO TEXT

I corresponded with a golfer recently who was convinced that stiff hip flexors were holding him back, despite the fact that he already had normal, healthy hip joint range of motion. His seriousness of purpose was equalled only by his ignorance of anatomy and kinesiology. He was just a bimbo of a golfer, obsessed with anything that might give him an edge. BACK TO TEXT

Flexibility in itself conveys no performance benefits to most athletes, unless flexibility is specifically necessary (i.e. gymnastics). Indeed, there is decent evidence that pre-event stretching actually impairsperformance! See Quite a Stretch. BACK TO TEXT

I have come across only a handful of people who seem (or claim) to have “corrected” posture by force of will: that is, through vigilant attention to standing up and sitting up straight. Unfortunately, in all such cases, not only was it unclear if they had solved any problem that needed solving in the first place, but the cure was quite possibly just as bad as the disease: a chronic and substantial rigidity extending through habits of both body and mind. These were tense, uptight people, working hard instead of smart, and there are almost certainly better ways to stand up straight. BACK TO TEXT

It was a ridiculous oversimplification to make an pointless point! The demonstration was not contrived to illustrate anything that’s actually known in biology and kinesiology — it was just a dramatization of a trumped up self-serving justification for doing massage therapy! And stretching. BACK TO TEXT

Muyor JM, López-Miñarro PA, Casimiro AJ. Effect of stretching program in an industrial workplace on hamstring flexibility and sagittal spinal posture of adult women workers: a randomized controlled trial. J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2012;25(3):161–9. PubMed #22935854. ❐ BACK TO TEXT


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