As children, we had a spring in our step and felt light on our feet.  Over the years, gravity weighs us down letting aches and pains settle in. Our daily pressures and activities (or lack thereof) typically keep our minds from noticing the pain.   Our posture suffers. Eventually an injury occurs   and we can ignore no more.

Know Thy Anatomy: Understanding how your muscles and joints work together is a great start. Some muscles cross over joints to move the bones.  As these muscles loosen and tighten, they compress the joint, assisting gravity’s powerful pull. A perfect example is along the spine. Slouching causes an excessive pull on the back muscles and compresses on the discs in the spine. Lifting heavy weights does the same.

Core Strength:  The visible muscles on a body builder are superficial muscles, meant for large movements and power. Strong muscles outside the body do not mean that you are stable at the core. Weak core muscles are very common and cause people more injuries than anything.

Mindful Activity: When you are physically active but under duress (i.e. chasing your toddler, building a shed, moving furniture) you don’t get the same benefits as a purposeful bit of exercise. Very active and strong people are injured regularly through a lack of awareness in their movements. If they do not take the time to focus on their posture or the stressors they are under, gravity will easily win this battle. The joint spaces in the back are so minimal from a weak core that you actually assist gravity rupture a disc or fracture a bone.

THE ANSWER: Here are some ideas on battling the Earth’s gravitational forces and keeping your body as comfortable as possible.

Enjoy some free water, oxygen and blood flow: These three things soothe and heal your sore, tight muscles. Water from the bottle or tap is awesome (approximately ½ your body weight in ounces – ex. 150 lb. person needs 75 oz. Water).

Take deep, full breaths to fill your lungs and send that oxygen throughout the body. It is crucial for healing. (Try it now…10 deep breaths)

Blood flow is increased with light movement, massage, and heat. The blood after all carries the water and oxygen throughout the body. Pretty important stuff!!

Lie Down On the Job: Taking time to lie down for a few minutes (a couple times during your work day) greatly reduces the strain that gravity causes on your spine.

Just Hang Around: Find a sturdy door jam or pull-up bar and let your body stretch. Keep minimal weight on the feet.

Know Thy Enemies: Prolonged sitting or standing, excessive twisting or bending, hyper-extending the back, and carrying heavy loads are the major troublemakers. Avoid these actions whenever possible. Change your position and balance out your movements. Be conscious of your levels of fatigue through the day. Get help for lifting and moving.

Don’t Walk the Plank, DO IT! : The plank is a core exercise that takes 15 seconds to two minutes.   Simply lie on your belly and then get up on your elbows and toes. Do not let your low back sag. Your torso and legs should be stiff as a board. Hold for 15 seconds to start and add 15 seconds as you progress. When you can hold for two minutes you are ROCK SOLID!!

Gravity is inevitable, but pain does not have to be. Take control and get that spring in your step again!!


Carrie Reed, Owner/LMT,CPT
Milford Body Therapy
318 New Haven Avenue
Milford CT, 06460