The Stenosis Diagnosis

March 3, 2019

Efficient movement is truly an art. In sports, it's called "good form."  But to us non-jocks, trying to get something done in the kitchen, garage, or garden, it's simply called "good body mechanics." 

Many people have come to believe that a shoulder-width stance is the ideal stance for almost every activity. Maybe this is related to the number of personal trainers and therapists who advise people to exercise with their feet shoulder-width apart, or maybe it's just been repeated so often that very few people question it. The problem with this belief, though, is that without the feet wider than shoulder-width apart, bending your knees won't help much. Especially not during lifting.

Try this experiment in lifting a light object:

1) Place something light--maybe a pen--on the floor in front of you. Stand with your feet only shoulder-width apart, then bend your knees and pick up the pen.

2) Next try the same thing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. The first thing you'll n...

October 21, 2018

Sometimes the simplest things can make the biggest difference,  especially when it comes to how we move and use our bodies. One of my favorite movement strategies not only optimizes your efficiency when you reach for something, but strengthens the legs and back muscles safely. It's called "The Golfer's Tee Trick."

This nifty technique requires a bit of practice, and a fairly decent sense of balance, but is definitely worth learning for the safe retrieval of some light object off the floor, such as the just-dropped pen, odd bit of change, or piece of candy. The trick basically consists of turning yourself into a human teeter-totter by gently swinging one leg up behind you, while you reach toward the floor. Once you have what you want, the weight of your leg helps bring you back up. If you have pain in your right leg, put the right leg behind you. If you have pain in your left leg, put the left leg behind you. See how it feels.

The beauty of this maneuver...

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The Shoulder-Width Myth: why keeping your feet only shoulder-width apart isn't going to help your spine

March 3, 2019

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