Not many know this but I’m walking around this planet with a reverse curve in my neck. Thank goodness for skin and tissue to cover it up! I found this out by accident when I went to a new chiropractor for a pain in my elbow. He was offering free x-rays. I had no idea what my spine looked like, so it sounded good to me!
I’ve had pain in my neck for years, but I always thought it was caused by stress and tension. After seeing the x-ray my Dr. was convinced I had suffered some sort of major trauma in my life like a car accident. No, never! Was I was born deformed or was it caused by all the plyo jumps and hard landings over my lifetime? It’s scary to think about but you really can’t rule anything out. The reverse curve was squishing discs in my neck, impinging on nerves, causing major pain down my arm and in my neck. If it went untreated I could suffer major mobility problems down the road. Visions of me not being able to turn my head haunted me. Thank goodness we caught it before it could get any worse. The Dr. also gave me hope it can be corrected.
My initial care plan included 3 visits a week. I was adjusted and then put into traction. It’s like putting your neck in a vice and lying there while they crank and stretch your neck up to create space between your discs. They leave you there for about 5 very long minutes. It hurt. My body didn’t like it at all. It caused headaches and dizziness afterwards. I dreaded each visit, but I went back because I was afraid not to. My body eventually adjusted and over time the traction didn’t seem as bad.
I realize this whole thing sounds depressing but it was a tough time in my life. Not to worry though, after a few months things started to improve. The pain in my arm disappeared completely and my neck felt much better for the most part. I still get occasional pain, but occasional is so much better than chronic!
This whole time my Dr. was asking me to do my part at home. He wanted me to use the posture pulley every day, 20 reps for 5 seconds each.
You wrap this contraption around your head, pull the handles forward while pressing your head back at the same time. It’s resistance training. It’s an exercise. I exercise every day. This request from my chiropractor would only take 100 seconds a day, or just over a minute and a half. So why wasn’t I doing it?
At first I tried fibbing and saying I used it daily, but he knew the truth. You can’t fool the professionals. But still, even though I knew better, week after week I failed to do my part at home and relied on only what he could do for me in my 10 minute weekly appointment.
It’s been a whole year and a half now, maybe more, and I’m still not using the posture pulley like I should. Finally last week the Dr. looked me in the eye and said, “You NEED to do your part at home. It’s maintenance, like your workout. You know the drill.” He was serious! And then it clicked.
Yes, I am a fitness professional and I struggle with the same types of decisions my clients do. Is it forgetfulness, laziness, procrastination or maybe ‘I just don’t feel like it right now’?. To make a behavior change, I have to decide I want it. I can only do it for me. It’s my decision. It’s my action. If I do the work, then I will reap the rewards.
There are so many decisions in life this can apply to! Things won’t truly change for any of us until we take responsibility and do our part. Some decisions are more important than others, but every behavior change requires the same kind of discipline. In all honesty, the posture pulley is like a thorn in my side. It’s not the contraption itself, or even the 100 seconds a day it requires. It’s a reminder of a problem I have. It represents something I don’t want to think about. But ignoring it won’t make it go away. In fact, ignoring it is the worst thing I can do.
It’s time to take action. The posture pulley is on display in my house so I will remember to use it. I’m happy to say I’ve used it every day for over a week now. Honestly, once I get past my negative mindset, it’s not so bad! Actually, it’s quick, easy and quite painless. I was making it into such a dreaded and horrible thing by the way I viewed it. It was all in my head!
So I challenge you to confront your posture pulley.
What negative thinking is stopping you from making that change YOU need?
It’s up to you!