So, You’re Fat and You Slouch, But Does Your Back Hurt?

Okay, I got back into posture blogging. I got back into nutrition blogging. I even got back into fitness blogging. What’s next?

Back Pain

I know I’ve touched on the topic of back pain. Okay, I’ve written a LOT on the topic of back pain, because posture correction and back pain recovery have a significant overlap. For those of you paying attention, that’s the entire foundation of my Posture Thursday posting.

It isn’t true if you can’t diagram it.

These are the words of a pseudonymous twitter user. Actually, they’re his brother’s words, but that’s not important. What is important is the concept, so let’s diagram back pain and posture.

Diagramming Back Pain and Posture

Y’all ever heard of a Venn Diagram? It’s a set of overlapping circles, each circle denoting a set, with the overlapping area being common to each set. Here we have a set of property A and a set of property B. The overlapping area is the set of having both properties A and B.

2 Set Venn Diagram
2 Set Venn Diagram

Let’s create a Venn Diagram of back pain sufferers and people with poor posture.

Back Pain and Posture Venn Diagram
Back Pain and Posture Venn Diagram

This is the general idea. Now, I don’t have actual numbers, but considering that over 80% of Americans will suffer back pain at some point in there lives, and considering that pretty much everybody has crappy posture nowadays, I think the real Venn Diagram looks more like this.

Better Back Pain and Posture Venn Diagram
More Accurate Back Pain and Posture Venn Diagram

If I were to add in overweight and out of shape:

Pain, Posture and Fitness Venn Diagram
Pain, Posture and Fitness Venn Diagram

I think it would more accurately look something like this:

More Accurate Pain, Posture and Fitness Venn Diagram
More Accurate Pain, Posture and Fitness Venn

This last Venn Diagram is my area of interest, the overlap amongst pain, posture and fitness, and is why I spend as much time as I do telling you to:

  • put down the doughnut,
  • drop the remote control,
  • get up off the couch and
  • get your lazy, tubby ass to the gym.

Solving one of back pain, bad posture or being out of shape will not magically solve the other problems. That would be the non-overlapping parts of the Venn Diagram above.

Take me, for example: I’ve been in terrific shape my entire life, but had lousy posture and increasing problems with back pain. The efforts I put in to my posture had the serendipitous effect of fixing my back pain problems, along with a bunch of other things.

If you’re slouching through life, fat and out of shape, simply getting in shape won’t fix your posture, nor will it fix your back pain. Further, you will find fixing your posture all but impossible, behind that beer gut, but if you learn the footwork, you can fix all three together.