It’s not uncommon for people to ask us about exercises to avoid back surgery. If you’ve been dealing with back pain for a long time, it’s probably a question you have. You may not realize it, but your posture can reveal a lot about your habits and your health. What does your posture say about you?
Dr. Weiniger reveals that posture is a combination of genetics and habits. And, both of those factors can lead you down a road to consider back surgery. While you can’t change your genetics, you can make new life habits for better health and less pain.
Before You Decide on Back Surgery
“The first thing we teach people who are hoping to avoid back surgery is to take a posture picture,” Weiniger said. “That’s where you have someone take a picture of you from the front, back and sides. Then, you use the picture as a starting point to track your success with back exercises.”
Furthermore, posture pictures can also be used to track your progress over time. But, if you think the person in the picture looks more like your grandparent than yourself, don’t get discouraged. It’s not uncommon to look and feel older when you’re in pain. It’s important that you don’t automatically label your posture as “bad.”
“The problem with the phrasing is that it makes it an attribute. It sounds like you can’t do anything about it,” Weiniger said. “A different way of looking at posture is weak and strong. If I tell you your posture is functionally weak, you can say ‘What can I do about it?'”
There’s a lot you can do to correct weak posture including standing taller, adjusting your work and leisure environments, and for significant change, like avoiding a back surgery – committing to a posture exercise program, like 7 Steps to StrongPosture®. Weiniger said that even if you’re at a place where you can’t typically exercise, such as at the office or at school, there are still things you can do like taking posture breaks and setting up your home and work to optimize posture and movement.
“We call this your Posture Environment. The places we spend the most time in our lives. There are simple and impactful changes you can make to maintain good posture (once you’ve improved it with posture exercise). It’s such an important aspect of living a healthy life, that I devoted Step 6 of my posture training course to teach you how to ACE Your Posture – the “E” in ACE stands for Environment.”
Exercises to Avoid Back Surgery
A patient of Weiniger’s, Jimmy Goolsby, said that exercising greatly improved his posture and his back pain.
“I have a chronic back injury from when I used to play collegiate tennis,” Goolsby said. “It gave me problems with spasms and was very random.” A few years ago, Goolsby’s back injury flared up to the point where he had no feeling from his foot to his kneecap and had to consider undergoing back surgery. Goolsby, who has worked with Weiniger since 1988, said that he started practicing the doctor’s posture exercises again, this time more diligently.
In the end, those exercises not only strengthened his back muscles and his posture, but they relieved Goolsby of his pain to the point that he is no longer a candidate for back surgery. “I feel better now at 56 years old than when I was 46 years old,” he said.
Although not everyone may have the same results as Goolsby, by practicing posture exercises at least three to
four times a week, you’re likely to notice visual changes in two to three months, but most report feeling a lot better within a few weeks.
Read the interview with Dr. Steven Weiniger by Marisa Ramiccio – Dr-Steven-Weiniger Posture Expert for Seminole-Chronicle
Dr. Steven Weiniger