Money, they say, is the root of all evil. While that may be debatable there are many people whose posture is being damaged by money – or more correctly by their wallets and handbags. Next time you walk down a street watch the lady ahead carrying a handbag on her shoulder. Depending on the weight and the style her shoulder can be lifted on the side of the handbag to keep it on the shoulder, or perhaps dropped due to the weight. Either way her back is put out of vertical alignment.

The same applies to anyone carrying a sports kit bag, a camera, shopping and most particularly a computer bag.

One of the interesting things is that even when some people carry lightweight items, for instance a newspaper in a carrier bag, they still walk with the one shoulder higher than the other.

Thankfully this is generally a short duration event so that the impact on the overall structure of the body is minimal and will normally return to vertical when they stop carrying the item. However ladies that carry handbags on their shoulders for extended periods can be seen to maintain that imbalance of shoulder level even when not carrying the bag.

The same applies to men who put their wallets in the rear pocket of their jeans or trousers. When sitting the wallet props up one side of the hips. However their eyes always want to see doors and windows as level to the floor, and this ‘corrects’ the tilt of their upper body, which puts a second bend into the back.

This twisting of the body, when maintained long enough, becomes semi permanent and results in an uneven distribution of load in every subsequent action of the body and particularly during endurance exercise such as walking, cycling, swimming, canoeing or running.

Whereas younger people have bodies and soft tissue with greater resilience, as people pass 30, or spend more times in distorted postures the ability to recover reduces. The spine hips and structure are displaced by the muscular spasm or imbalance. Untreated this leads to a tension and pain at best and often a long term ‘pension of pain’ that continues for the rest of retirement.

Given the amount of time our children are currently exposed to TV, game units and computers together with the increase in lifespan, the prognosis for their retirement is not good, unless they become more aware of the impact of their actions.

Being particular about posture is truly an investment for a life with less pain.

By comparison when one side of the body is over-loaded there is a reaction that becomes the precursor of an injury.

The symptom of the injury is the point of pain, whereas the cause of the injury is the structural imbalance and the cause of the imbalance is carrying the money (or computer or sports kit) in an inappropriate fashion.

The majority of everyday or endurance injuries and pain are not coincidental or unexplained occurrences; they have traceable causes and reactions.

A holistic approach to injury not only provides treatment of the point of pain, but also involves the analysis and correction of the structural imbalance and the determination of the cause, even if it stems from lifestyle habits.

This is the core aspect that I cover in the seminars / clinics and one on one consultations conducted on running style / shoe selection and injury prevention (mail –

Only by undertaking these three aspects of injury and pain management can you hope to reduce the risks of recurring pain or injury.

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