Friday, December 05, 2014

Is bad posture neurological?

I have had bad 'slouchy' posture all my life. I spent most of my life feeling bad about it on the assumption that I could actually fix it if I tried harder. But I tried pretty hard, and it never went away.

Then in my 30s I was diagnosed with cervical dystonia. It's a neurological condition that causes, at the very least, bad posture. In addition to the trauma of having a movement disorder and all that comes with it, this really rocked my whole idea of bad posture and where it comes from. In the early days, I thought the bad posture might have caused the dystonia. After reading up on it and finding out about the mutations that lead to dystonia, and that many are in neurotransmitter synthesis pathways (which have nothing to do with posture), I slowly came to realize that if anything, it was the other way around - the dystonia caused the bad posture. Have I always had dystonia, but in a milder form? I guess I'll never know, but the thought really made me look at my life through a different lens.

Dystonia is thought to affect 3-5x as many people as have been diagnosed - this means a LOT of people are walking around with dystonia that don't know it. And if a mild case just causes bad posture (or other problems like scoliosis, headaches, etc), then who knows how many more people might have dystonia-related conditions that don't have any idea what dystonia even is.

This really challenges the prevailing view that bad posture is inherently preventable. If the source is neurological, no amount of exercise or discipline will correct the problem. You can stretch and strengthen and stick a rod down your shirt and everything else but the only thing that is going to help you is Botox because that specifically relaxes those muscles that are misfiring because of faulty wiring in your brain.

Doesn't this change your perspective a little?

So I googled 'bad posture' and found this - anyone know what movie it's from?



3 comments:

Tony and Lisa said...

Is it Mary Poppins?
Great post, Josie. I always appreciate it when people help me see things from a different perspective.
Love you,
Aunt Lisa

J-Funk said...

You got it! You have a good memory - I bet you haven't seen it as recently as me :)

Anonymous said...

HI
I am a canadian and am looking to come see a doctor in seattle for cervical dystonia
could you please email me who you see?
please please!
thanks
Shannon
smk859@hotmail.com