Episode 78: We’ve Got Your Back
We set things straight in this episode, shouldering your back-related mailbag questions in an effort to help you understand how the state of your back is really shaped by every other body part attached to it.
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KATY: I hear hundreds of toilet papers being plopped on the toilet seat behind them.
DANI: Oh! Ha! You’re the worst!
KATY: I … yeah.
DANI: Welcome to the Katy Says podcast where Dani Hemmat and Katy Bowman talk about movement: the tiny details, the larger issues, and why movement matters.
KATY: I’m Katy Bowman, biomechanist and author of Move Your DNA.
DANI: I’m Dani Hemmat, a chronically curious movement teacher. Today’s episode is chock full of back questions from the mailbag.
DANI: If it involves your spine, yep, it’s probably in the podcast.
DANI: Hopefully. We’ll try. We’ll do our best.
DANI: You wanna just jump in because there’s a whole bunch.
KATY: Yeah. We’ll get through them as many as we can.
DANI: Excellent. Ok, this one is from Heather and Heather asks: “When I’m doing a calf stretch I have to keep my foot that’s on the floor at least three to four inches behind the foot that’s on the half dome. Otherwise, I find myself quenching my quads, thrusting my pelvis and locking my knees so I don’t fall over backward. But when my foot is that far back, I don’t feel any stretching in my calf at all. Is it still doing me any good?”
KATY: Well, I mean, sure, it’s movement. It’s, you know, words are, again, they’re tough because that name, calf stretch, I guess it implies that the purpose of it is simply to do this, you know, this activity called stretching but we use it to really show, to let you experience how your particular amount of dorsiflexion that you’ve got. So just for those listening, what she’s talking about is, you know you’ve got one foot up on a dome so your ankle, one of your ankles, is like going uphill while you take a step forward with the other foot that’s not going uphill and you begin to see, as you try to step forward, how much the tension in your leg that is now going uphill is pushing you backwards, or creating a particular, I don’t even know how to say it, it’s creating a particular set of forces. And so what you are becoming aware of, you know, what is valuable, is not just the calf stretch, but it’s the recognition that when your foot goes into dorsiflexion that there’s a whole, that that amount of tension in that lower leg is enough to shove you backwards. And what you’re finding right now is how far you can step forward keeping everything relaxed and so you’re playing in that space and it’s not necessarily a calf “stretch” that we’re after. And it’s also why the feeling of a stretch, we don’t use a lot of feelings in our program. Just meaning, you know, like, should I feel it here or where should you feel it?
DANI: It’s allusive and seductive to use those terms.
KATY: It’s very challenging because not everyone processes sensation or experiences sensation in the same way.
KATY: Some of us are very good. Especially athletes, right? Who have been trained almost to desensitize the way their body responds to a particular repetitive thing and so we don’t really do that so much.
KATY: It’s more like what you are seeing is, you’re not feeling a stretch but you are seeing your ability to be in dorsiflexion without this huge copious amount of tension in all other parts. So the fact that you are dorsiflexing one part of your body while relaxing the rest of you, that’s a new movement that you’re not used to. So again the name of it, that’s my fault, is that the naming of things, because you have to, we have to call it something.
KATY: I could stop calling it… I’ve moved definitely over my career more and more into the useless names just use larger descriptions of the thing to clarify but then things get longer, right?
KATY: Now you have to read more and more and get rid of the names and the categories of so many things. But they’re good in the beginning for ease but then they get jumbled up. So don’t worry if you can’t feel it. You’re doing the move in the whole body way that it’s intended. So don’t worry if you don’t feel a stretch, I guess.
KATY: And that’s in the back, that is in the back mail back podcast I think because so much of what’s happening in the rest of our body including your spine, is going to be coming through your feet. Right? Is that why you pulled it?
DANI: Yeah. Because it’s never just the thing. You know. You think it’s the calf but it’s not always just that. And the train goes a lot farther than that, I think. Yeah, that’s why I pulled it. I thought it was interesting.
KATY: Well and I think it’s only in Whole Body Barefoot that I note it. I wish I had a copy. Where I’m noting, you know, the acceleration of your upper body, kind of the curve of your spine. The repetitiveness of the tension, the set of forces that end up shaping the adaptations that are of the soft tissues that make up our body. So much of the spine is created by what’s going on in the lower legs. So I think that’s the only book where I’ve noted it. Because it’s kind of a complex physics thing but, you know. Oh, I just found it. You want me to read it real fast.
DANI: Yeah! I can’t even reach my bookcase from where I am.
KATY: It’s a stretch break. Whole Body Barefoot. This page 59. It says: “Calf stretch. I often say if I can make everyone do just one stretch it would be this one. There’s a few reasons. The first is that our calf muscles are chronically shortened due the heeled shoes and sitting.” I’m kind of chopping out words that I would normally say, “It’s like the calf muscles some of the greatest responsibilities in keeping you upright and mobile. Vertical for standing and controlled walking. The opposite of “walking” is falling. You need to keep your calves to be in tip top shape. But thirdly but not finally, the tension in your lower body while walking has a whip like effect on the top meaning the superior parts of your body.” So if your feet are the most inferior closest to the ground your upper back and your neck and your head, those would be the most superior parts, the farthest away from the ground. So the tension in your lower body, if you’ve ever cracked a whip, you’re accelerating the top part over. So meaning your upper spine and head can be unduly accelerated by tension in your calves. And it says: “Have you ever seen a wave break? Well here’s how it works. The section of water comes to shore at the same speed but as a wave approaches shallow water the inclined seabed slows the bottom of the wave down causing the upper part of the wave to accelerate right on over and that’s what causes a wave to break. So now picture a gait pattern where the lower part of the leg is slowed down due to tension between the foot and the shin. What happens; the shin is slowed down relative to the whole body, accelerating the upper body over the slowed bottom half. No biggie. Since you can compensate by simultaneously firing opposing muscles to keep that forward motion from happening. But what you end up with is a walking pattern that requires constant tension in your upper back and neck with every step.” So, that’s why, you know, she’s doing the calf stretch and she is practicing breaking up that tension in the neck. If your calves are so tight that your other foot is not even ready to stand,
KATY: We would call that a rear, a negative stride length. You are practicing breaking up this relationship of dorsiflexion and tension. It’s a natural byproduct to keep you from getting a kind of small whiplash injury with every step. So you’re practicing. You are moving those parts in a new way. And it will, for those who are working on, you know, “I have a neck thing.” Or a neck thing or an upper back thing… that’s why we start with the feet.
KATY: Always start with the feet.
DANI: Yeah. I like your books but I like them even more when you read them.
KATY: I know. Sorry. I was obnoxious. I’ll just read pages of Whole Body Barefoot!
DANI: Ok. That was good. This next one is from Kaitlin. She writes: “I’ve been following your work for about a year now and it’s really made a big improvement in my lower back, hips, knees, and feet. But my upper back, neck, and shoulders are still trouble areas. You’ve mentioned hyperkyphosis a few times. But I was wondering if you could have a podcast about it and maybe provide some strategies for maybe mobilizing that area.”
KATY: Yeah, except, you know, the shoulders. The shoulders are much more complex. Like, I’ve written a lot of books and the reason … it’s so much easier to write about the feet and pelvic list. Those are very linear, a lot of times kind of simple places to start. It gets much more complicated to talk about all of the planes. Like writing about movement is very challenging. It’s very challenging. It is really best….
DANI: I’m sure it’s really challenging just to talk about it in a podcast. I mean…
KATY: How can, I mean now we don’t even have pictures. Really truly the best way to learn about movement is in a movement class with someone moving in front of you, giving you feedback on the way that you’re moving and integrating the explanation of it.
KATY: So that all being said, everything is kind of second to that. Although, through really great writing and great visuals, I can see… I mean a lot of people are able to move much more and much better. So it’s definitely not something to throw out but it’s just to know that…
KATY: …that shoulder girdle becomes a lot more complex.
DANI: And even your really bad drawings are helpful.
KATY: Yeah, thanks. So I think I have put out way more information on the lower back, the knees, the hips, and the feet because the corrections are more linear, they’re easier to write about. So as far as if you were only following my body of work, you’re gonna, it’s gonna be much more sparse on the upper part of the body relative to the lower body mostly because, you know, there’s the difficulty issue of writing about it. But also, because so many of the corrections of the upper body are anchored by what’s happening on your lower body and trunk. And trunk. And so Diastasis Recti, it’s either the best or the worst titled book of all time. If you have diastasis recti, you’re like, “Amazing – a book written just for me. Not a sidebar in a book about core strength.”
DANI: Thank you. Thank you.
KATY: I kind of flipped it around. But my sidebar in Diastasis Recti would be this is really the book that helps you start working on the thoracic hyperkyphosis. Because it’s really – there’s a lot of shoulder stuff.
DANI: There’s a lot. And I get a lot of emails about that. People are so tickled and kind of thrown off at the same time that they got a book about Diastasis Recti and it starts with the shoulders.
KATY: Again, you have to call it something.
KATY: I have to call it something. But what I call it does not note what it is. My name is Katy.
KATY: That gives nothing about what I have inside of me. Right? Like all these words, we’re like getting tripped up and we’re letting the words, we’re judging books by their cover. And until we can go, do away with the cover we have to just go, “Oh those are the words. I’m gonna read it first and then go from there.” So I would say that Diastasis Recti is… is my hyperkyphosis… it’s my most hyperkyphosis book to date. Because it really starts with – you have to anchor the ribs to a strong trunk before moving your arms around will help kind of unfurling that thoracic spine. So if you haven’t checked out that book, just change Diastasis Recti to Hyperkyphosis and just know that the reason you’re following that protocol is, oh because I’m going to … you know hyperkyphosis is excessive forward curvature of the upper back. Right? So,
KATY: when we go to correct it, or stand up, we just take that same curvature and just displace it. So what we need to be able to do is hold the bottom of that thoracic curve down so that when we go to straighten up we’re able to change the parts that make up the curve relative to themselves rather than just changing the whole curve relative to the ground. So head ramping…
DANI: Which is really hard to picture listening to this.
DANI: I mean, I really recommend that book because it’s so hard until you can see a diagram, a drawing and understand the mechanics of that. Not to cut you off but it’s just, I think she should read that book.
KATY: Yes but ribs down and head ramping are the two simple things that you can start right now.
KATY: But then you are, it’s having stability within the trunk, meaning that… like ribs down – being able to maintain your ribs down while moving is trunk stability. It means that you’re able to stabilize the hinges in your spine that when you stand up you don’t have to displace a large portion of your spine. That would be a place in which it was not very stable. So I would say core strength, I hate that term but it’s necessary right now, that’s the next section. It’s like you get your feet, you get your legs, you get your trunk and now you’re ready for just the shoulders. But the shoulder mobility and the scapula placement and the leverage for the muscles that are going to connect to those upper vertebrae really depend on all the parts below. But until then ribs down, head ramp, can be a constant mobilizing force in that area. And also in the virtual class membership, there are a lot of classes on this. On these moves. Like these moves…
DANI: Oh that’s right. Yeah.
KATY: And that’s the place where I’ve probably, because it’s easier to write about the legs and the knees and the hips because they’re more simple structures. When I do teach live, I focus a lot of live teaching time on the more complex hinges. So you’ll see a lot of head, shoulders, arms…they make up a larger bulk of that class work because we just need to get down deep into those. And it’s the easiest place for me to teach it. Is moving.
DANI: And we’ll link to those. To sign up for the virtual classes. Because they’re awesome.
KATY: Or even Alignment Snacks. There’s a free alignment snack just on some of the shoulder stuff, so make sure you’re taking advantage of all the resources that are already out there. It might not be in podcast form, you know, again, I don’t know. I don’t think I could teach movement via podcast.
KATY: I don’t think so. It’d be like I could teach physics or geometry via podcast. So I think the podcast is really a tool that I use to kind of go a little bit deeper into the more movement friendly like video supplements that I already have. So make sure that you’ve checked those out, because sometimes that’s like the easiest place to be like, “Oh, Got it. Understand.”
DANI: Yeah. All right, here’s one from Zoe: “Can you post pictures and discuss good technique for carrying kids on your back, on your shoulders or two kids at a time?” Hey, you have experience with that. “My shoulders are killing me and massaging correctives are not enough. I’m hoping to recruit a neighbor kid to help me herd the kids on a walk but any tips would be helpful.”
KATY: It’s just a compilation of all the tips and videos that are out there, right? So on youtube there’s some shoulder stabilization, you know, checking to make sure that you’re not subluxing or that you’re, so, again, able to stabilize various parts of your body when you hold. There’s the rib sliding baby carrying, and then on Instagram, you know, there’s various posts of me doing it here or there showing, you know, like I’ve started to have my son stand in my hands. You know, having someone on your back you’re leaning forward quite a bit so playing with, like, standing more upright and having them stand in my hands, make sure you go through those photos. But again, it’s not so much… like the tips, they’re not baby or kid carrying tips as much as the same stabilizing the same parts of you whether you’re standing or carrying heavy loads. In your case, the heavy load just happens to be one or two kids. And variation, right? Constantly varying up your holding even if it means that you’re taking for every two minutes or three minutes of holding, you’re doing one to two minutes of walking. Letting them walk and switch. I get a lot of mileage out of like holding, “Ok, I’m gonna set you down for a sec while I do this.” They’re just walking next to me. No they’re not getting back on so they’re not whining to be picked up again and then I put them back on. So my carrying them is like a lot of me just really just picking them up and putting them back down again peppered with bouts of them walking.
KATY: So it’s like a crossfit workout that you do as you move from point a to point b. There’s lots of movement happening. And recruit friends. That is the ultimate tip.
DANI: Yeah. That’s a good idea. Ok. Let’s see. Lindsay writes: “I love your podcast. I’ve been struggling with upper back, thoracic spine, tightness, and pain the last several years. I weight train regularly and am not very sedentary. I struggle with rotation and feel lots of restriction when I try to…” I’m assuming rotating her arms out? “I also do not have full shoulder flexion. Any suggestions?”
DANI: Which is an awesome …
KATY: It’s a great – that’s oldy moldy but it’s still, I think, pretty valuable.
DANI: Yeah. Way.
KATY: The Alignment Snacks for the shoulders. And again, VCM, because it’s gonna go from the trunk all the way up to the head and out through the arms. So yeah, start checking out those. Those movement classes designed specifically for you to assess and change some of your shoulder mobilities.
DANI: Yep. There’s a lot of good snacks for that. VCM, you’re so cool throwing that out. “Oh yeah, VCM.” All right. Mary wants to know: “What are your thoughts in general about…” Oh gosh, this is a big question. Ok. “What are your thoughts in general about practicing Yoga. I’ve been practicing Yoga since I was 18. But recently I have had severe back pain for several days after yoga class. And I had simply been doing postures I have always done. Since I’m now 62, I wonder if I am simply too old for yoga? Thanks for your thoughts.”
KATY: Well the only thing I can speak to would be the physical component which is a very small component of yoga. So I’m assuming since she’s talking about yoga class that she’s talking about simply asanas at this juncture. So I mean, in the body of my work, I’m just kind of talking about that there’s likely a spectrum of types of movements that you need throughout a day, throughout seasons, throughout your life. I don’t know if the mode that you get them in matters too much. Meaning whether you get those movements in the form of yoga or through dance or through cycling or whatever. That you’re getting particular components of what you need but that it could be like, for me, the way that I see, she’s doing the same thing that she’s always done and now she’s got pain from doing the same thing that she’s done. So either something else has changed or the accumulation of what she’s done has led to this particular scenario.
KATY: So I would say just like diet. You’ve got some nutrients that you’re used to eating but you need to consider the context and which, like those nutrients have been …that you’ve been consuming them. So I’ve written about it in Move Your DNA where it’s like you can have lots of great foods but if there are in the absence of other foods you can still get a particular disease. You know vitamins and nutrients, you can’t consume them exclusively. So I don’t, I would say that my recommendation for anyone practicing yoga with regularity would be the same for anyone doing anything with regularity. Cycling, running, our correctives – say like they’re doing the nutritious movement multivitamin every day, that step one is to look at the context in which you’re… Like how sedentary are you? And to decrease that sedentary time. And to now categorize yourself because you practice any movement, exercise regularly, that you are still very likely sedentary. So start dealing with that period of time first and then you actually look at your nutrients and go “Am I getting from this nutrient what I was intending to get from this particular nutrient?” And that’s where the idea of every movement having a particular form comes in. Because I would say most people giving movements would say that there’s a particular form in which you are to do the movement if you are to reap the benefit of that movement. Sometimes the form in which someone is doing something doesn’t match up well with what they intended to get out of it and so we have a lot of information, I would say, on that going, oh, like I just broke down downward dog in the virtual class membership the other day. Not from a yoga perspective but if you are given this particular exercise because you are trying to improve your shoulder flexion and you’re trying to improve your hip flexion and you’re trying to improve your dorsiflexion, then these are the very subtle joint positions you want to make sure that you’re doing if you are to extract those particular benefits from this move that you’re doing. So I think that a lot of times people can just make over the way that they’re doing their practice of whatever they’re doing versus scrap their practice altogether. I’m all for people doing the thing that they love doing but again, it’s about the larger context. I think we’re really still, we’re still stuck in that hour exercise mentality and might be missing the broader message which is, there’s so many, so many things to do in the other 23 hours if you were interested in approaching your exercise practice even, you could just approach it from your relationship with sedentarism. Or if you really feel that you just want to work with and hour of those exercises then check out some of the more refined assessment tools that we have so that you can make sure that you’re moving the body parts that you wish to be moving. That’s my recommendation. And I don’t think you’re too old for yoga. No.
KATY: I don’t think our bodies get too old for movement of any type really.
KATY: See Dynamic Aging for that one.
KATY: Yeah. You know what? That would be good to check out Dynamic Aging and how would doing the correctives in Dynamic Aging pair well with, not which are to help with the finer, refined movement about particular axis that we might be missing in general movement practices where we’re not paying so much attention to how each hinge is moving and then also addresses the sedentary context that most of us are living in. So that would be a good pairing. It would go like a fine wine with your yoga practice.
DANI: And you’re never too old for fine wine. All right. Karen writes: “We spend a lot of time bending over to pick things up, tie shoes, etc., I would imagine it would be best to vary movements, to get low and reach down, as in maybe do a lunge a pick up something, switch it up by forward bending with legs straight from the hips to grab the thing. But is it true that our backs only have so many deep forward bends that they can safely do in a lifetime? I ask this because the instinctive seemingly quickest way to get the job done is to bend over with sometimes bad alignment for most people. And I have a herniated low back disc and so noticed that after I forward bend I do feel a bit stiff in the back even if I try to maintain good alignment.”
KATY: Well is, so the question is, is it true our backs have only so many deep forward bends?
KATY: I don’t think that there’s a …
DANI: No expiration date on that one?
KATY: Well, again, it’s like, oh that question, those questions, it’s always void of context. You know, like bending over 20 times to pick something up, that is different if you’re an otherwise entirely sedentary person or a person who moves a lot but only takes in repetitious types of movement. The effect of bending forward 20 times is different in each one of those scenarios. So the question is we only have so many … I do not think that we only have so many movements of a particular type. Like full stop. However, I do think that, man I don’t know what I think. I feel like there are total ways of moving that when you do them in their exclusivity can tax your tissues in a particular way. In which case you only have so many particular, like repetitive ways of doing a single thing before you notice a symptom of doing the single thing.
DANI: I think that’s the answer right there.
DANI: You just got it right there.
KATY: So I, yes I do think that. But those are, you have to appreciate the difference in those two contexts that I was talking about. So to think like I have only so many bends in a particular way. That’s your, that’s the sedentarism. Like that’s the effect of hardly any movement at all. And the fact, it’s also the effect of convenience and the fact that everything that you need is always gonna be in exactly the same place. It’s like your environment, your sedentary environment and I don’t even think that you can extract them from each other, right? You’re sedentary because of your environment. It’s facilitating very limited amount of total motion and how much of you is actually moving. So again, I don’t think it’s inherent… it’s not a movement issues. I mean it is a movement issue. At all. I can’t talk about it anymore. I think I’ve said all I have to say on it.
DANI: You did and I think her answer is right there. You did it. Ok, Mike asks: “My wife has been suffering vertigo for over a year. According to our doctor, the vertigo is likely the result of an inner ear infection. She’s been going through vestibular therapy which seems to be helping. My question is, can the vertigo symptoms be affected by her hyperkyphosis?”
KATY: I don’t know.
DANI: Believe it or not that is not the first questions we’ve had of that.
KATY: Well I think, you know, fluid pressure, you know. As I understand it a lot of vertigo has to do with inner ear pressure which can be, you know, fluid in the inner ear. But you could also change pressure through tension, right. Like I can increase the pressure in my intra-abdominal cavity and my thoracic cavity and my pelvic floor cavity simply by squeezing. I can create motions that are going to change those pressures. So when you have hyperkyphosis, and you have to think of like… a quick podcast anatomy lesson. Your thoracic chamber, right, you’ve got the thoracic cavity and you’ve got your spine going up through it and you know your thoracic spine and then you’ve got your cervical spine. And again, these are just words. There is no, these are just words that we call certain areas of your spine. When they look different to us, we give it a slightly different name. You know? It’s like. This gets more and more arbitrary the longer I’m thinking on some of these things. But then you have your skull. And then your skull is articulating on the top of your first vertebra. So when we talk about hyperkyphosis, it’s rare that you only have hyperkyphosis. A lot of times you’ll also have hyperlordosis which is an excessive amount of, it’s like your upper back goes way forward but your cervical spine then to compensate goes way back so you get sort of a hump to the upper back because where those curves change is pretty extreme. So that’s gonna increase the pronounced, how pronounced that particular curve is. So I would say that you are very easily playing with the pressures of your inner ear simply by chronic head position which is brought about by spinal curvature which is brought about by how tight your calves are. Yeah, so I would say that I don’t know if I could link it specifically to anything but I think that it is very viable that your spinal curvature can be influencing the pressures in those areas.
KATY: So. That would be as much as I would know to answer on that.
DANI: Ok. I have a quick question. Do you think if you could just give one book to read would it be the DR book for back stuff?
KATY: Oh. I don’t know. I don’t know anything about Mike’s wife and her fitness…
DANI: No, but not for her just for anybody that if they just were gonna digest one book do you think that’s the most…
KATY: For what?
DANI: For back issues.
KATY: You know, again, it just depends because a person coming from a bodybuilding background with a back issue like what does that mean?
DANI: Right. I suppose.
KATY: That could be pelvic floor, it could be SI joint, it could be shoulder, it could be neck, there could be headaches.
DANI: That’s true.
KATY: There’s an art form. It’s very challenging to write books where all the information is really… Every single person requires these concepts to be written in a unique way to be as closely aligned to their body of experience and the state of their body and what they can do. That is the reality. Every person needs it exactly the way that they need it. And all I can do is write it. I can imagine all those various scenarios but at the end of the day, I can only write it so many different ways. So part of what we’re doing is educating to kind of see how to answer your own questions by learning the concepts of what we’re talking about versus the “Oh I see. This exercise for this ailment. This book for this person.” So for hyperkyphosis, it could be Dynamic Aging. Where you’re just working on head hanging and head ramping which really isn’t in a lot any other books.
KATY: You know, so I don’t know. Final answer. I don’t know.
DANI: I don’t know. That’s good. You can extract what you want out of that. Ok. This one is from Sarah. She writes: “What are your thoughts on using an SI support belt during pregnancy? It’s been recommended to me but I’m afraid of using a crutch or orthotic and having my muscles become deconditioned. I’m also not confident it will help. I tried one for a few minutes with no change.
KATY: I mean, I’ve answered this question I think on various, probably pregnancy related podcasts we’ve talked about this one before. But my thoughts. I don’t really have a thought on what people use.
DANI: I think you’re done. I think you’re ready for a break.
KATY: Or where orthotics are concerned. My concern is about recognizing how they work, so if someone is very sedentary, doesn’t have any time or interest in like to bring in the correctives that would function as an SI support belt. So you have SI support. Your body comes with SI support. And that’s your musculoskeletal system. It’s your body. It’s all the other parts of your body. It’s not even your musculoskeletal system. It’s all of it.
KATY: Every one of your body parts is supported by all of the other body parts. So you come with support equipment. It’s about the conditioning of that support equipment. So what we are talking about here is a transition of your entire body to be able to support all of the functions with your body. Like that’s our overarching theme. That all being said, at the same time we recognize you live a life that does not allow for the behaviors that develop a physical body that is able to support itself, you know, in a basic structural sense as well as having the parts to deal with all other things that kind of move us. Whether it’s temperature or I mean, we just function in a kind of very certain way and we’re talking about stepping outside of that. So if an SI support belt makes… is like, you could think of it as a bolster, like if you need to have it so that maybe you’re like, “I would really love to do some of the exercises over … I wanna start with my feet. I have a new baby. I’m ready to start.” And you’ve been so deconditioned for so long that standing up is enough for pelvic pain, then use an SI band.
KATY: Use that support. It’s just like any other blanket under your shoulder piece. It’s a bolster. It’s a tool.
DANI: Oh, ok.
KATY: My point to it, the completion of my thought, is to recognize those tools for what they are. They are providing support to your body externally that your body could possibly be generating if you were to have different behaviors. So, transition, I think, is a real key concept. To recognize that we’re talking about transitioning and lots of bolsters and supports are necessary. Lots of time is necessary. Years. Decades. For transitioning. So to me, I just see all those as, there’s no, it’s like again non-dualistic. They’re not good they’re not bad. It’s just how are they being used? You know and do we see the broader context of everything are really my only points.
KATY: So, use it if you want to and just recognize what it’s doing and then look at other symptoms of weaknesses. Because if you have three or four or eight or twelve symptoms and the SI joint support belt is fixing one of them but there’s 12 other things then maybe if you recognize that the 12 things are all related to the strength of your lateral hip,
KATY: then prioritizing your lateral hip exercises, go “Oh I can see now how that one chunk of times for these moves actually translate over.” The payoff is very large. We’re kind of reverse engineering that understanding.
DANI: Yes. A satisfying answer. That was good. Ok, one last one. This is from Ashley and whose question we answered a few podcasts ago and she wrote to share good news. She writes: “Hi again. Thank you for answering my question in episode 71. Just wanted to let you know that the answer really helped.” She was writing about twisting. She and her friend were coming up with ways, they couldn’t do the twist.
DANI: So, “just wanted to let you know that the answer really helped AND my friend came up with the brilliant idea of endangered movement of twisting by putting the toilet paper roll on top of the toilet behind her back.” Smart friend.
DANI: “Wow, that has really gotten us twisting multiple times a day again. Thanks again for all you do. I am on my way to being able to clean my house and go on hikes without SI joint pain.” Yay!
KATY: And without a belt… maybe.
KATY: So that’s very… I love that. So I hadn’t even recognized my toilet paper being in front of me as a convenience or a movement saver. Plopping it behind you. There you go. You’ve changed your environment and now that’s non-exercise movement. When you reach back to get your toilet paper because you made the change to put it behind you, you just increased the non-exercise movement of your day. So you did two things: You incorporated a twisting motion but too, you transitioned your brain and your environment to facilitate for you where movement was the natural response not the unnatural. Choosing to do things less efficiently, you know, to add movement is kind of an unnatural human thing right now so you made it, you made it more in line with your deepest inner workings simply by modifying your environment. So well done.
DANI: Yes. I love it.
KATY: So I hear hundreds of toilet papers being plopped onto the toilet seat behind them.
DANI: You’re the worst!
KATY: Yeah, like it’s all … that was totally accidental!
DANI: I know. I know.
KATY; Yeah, of course. It’s just a very simple way. So well done. You solved multiple – that’s a Movement Matters image right there.
DANI: Big time.
KATY: That’s big time. So thank you, Ashley. Ashley, you just helped hundreds of people. Well…
DANI: Well, your smart friend did.
KATY: Three people listen to this. Your parents. My parent.
DANI: Actually my parents don’t listen to it.
KATY: So, a multitude of people. Ok.
DANI: Ok cool. That is all.
VOICE OVER: Hopefully you find the general information in this podcast informative and helpful. But it is not intended to replace medical advice and should not be used as such.