The importance of good posture, a lesson learned the hard way

I’ve been seeing different doctors about my neck problems, and the more doctors I see, the worse the news gets.

Today was particularly devastating. He looked at my x-rays from the previous hospitals and asked me why I’d waited this long to get treatment. “Didn’t you feel pain in your neck and shoulders?” And I said no, not at all. I just have these headaches… But then he said that it must’ve taken about five years for my neck to get this bad. Five years…

Five years ago, I was in college. I struggled almost daily with shoulder pain, but I chalked it up to stress (because my mom gets pain in her shoulders with stress, too) and didn’t do anything about it. The pain wasn’t too bad, and I was too focused on schoolwork to take care of myself.

And therein lies the problem. I was constantly bent over books and absorbed in computer screens. Ever since junior high, my parents told me to fix my posture and stretch once in a while, but I ignored them, never once thinking that my cervical spine would bend forward like it is now.

Today’s doctor treated me with acupuncture and injections, which was all fine, but he kneaded my shoulders and neck so forcefully I eventually pulled myself away and cried. And now I can’t move my shoulders.

Of course I regret all those years of bad posture. I have to pay for it with daily stretching and posture correction for the rest of my life, but no matter what kind of treatment I get, my neck might never have a normal curve again. All I can do is receive regular, expensive treatment to prevent and slow down degeneration of the discs, which at a later age would be even more difficult and costly to treat.

So if you’re reading this, please don’t make the same mistake I did. If your work involves a lot of reading or computer work, make sure to take a break to stretch every hour and try to be conscious of your posture. Whenever you feel neck pain, drop everything you’re working on and just rest. No work should take precedence over your health. No work will ever matter that much.




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