Tom Oddo is a Doctor of Chiropractic and a strength and conditioning coach who spends a lot of time teaching people how to correct their body positions—as he puts it, “organizing ourselves.” That’s his way of describing postural fixes that not only improve body alignment while standing (or sitting) still, but that also foster movement that’s less conducive to poor posture. This helps ward off musculoskeletal dysfunction associated with chronic pain in the back, neck, shoulders, hips, and other joints.
To establish what good posture actually feels like, the best place to start is by examining one’s range of motion in the spine and how it “stacks.”
The most common examples of postural dysfunction are a spine that is too arched (typically when standing) or too rounded (typically while seated). Both positions make it difficult for the back and neck to resist gravity when the spinal isn’t sufficiently stacked. In a properly stacked position, the head sits squarely atop the cervical spine (neck), which is directly above the upper thoracic spine, which is comfortably atop the lumbar spine, which is cradled by a neutral pelvis. A well-stacked position fortifies the head, neck, and back against the pain-inducing forces of gravity.
So how can you improve your spinal stack for better posture and reduced pain? Let’s get started with Dr. Oddo…