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Introduction

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The story

Today, while meditating, I noticed some irritation in my back. This is a fairly regular occurence when I sit for prolonged periods of time and normally I think nothing of it, but this time was different. Rather than shy away from the uncomfortability TV, I sat with the feeling and recognized that it was radiating specifically from the area around my left shoulder blade.

Deciding to experiment, I edged against the feeling, noticing that it wasn’t affecting my right. As I started to stretch it, I started to feel slightly more balanced on my sitting bones. Then, pushing my upper back back without moving my shoulders, I had a sudden experience. I felt better sitting; more natural, more comfortable, and more relaxed.

This was how I realized that I had been leaning to the left constantly without even realized it, and this was where all my back pain had been coming from. Last year I broke my collar bone, and in compensating for it, I would lean. Over the course of several months, I let this movement pattern ingrain itself into my body, and become my default sitting position. I didn’t recognize this because I never did rehab, and before I knew it, I just thought that I had back pain from sitting to much.

The takeaway

My takeaway from this experience is that, no matter how active you are, it can never hurt to evaluate your body’s imbalances. Upon my recovery, I wasn’t recommended physiotherapy, and I didn’t think otherwise. Despite my constant advocacy for self-care, I assumed that I was recovered and better. I didn’t consider how months of improper positioning, lack of movement, and compensation would continue to impact my muscular system after the fact.

Now, I am rededicating myself to discovering the limitations in my body and imbalances that exist. I won’t let my body settle into the same motions day in and day out. Instead, I will constantly work at improving my range of motion, posture, and balance.