James Hollister

I Work To Uncover The Most Painful Problems That People Face Everyday, and Solve Them... So That They Can Instead Focus On The Things That They Do Best.

Get to Know Your Pelvis

Have you ever stopped to think about your pelvis?

If you’re like a lot of people you might not even be aware of where it is or how to move it.

And that’s a shame, because your pelvis plays a vital role in the health of your entire body and just a little bit of insight into how it should be functioning can have a huge impact.

For too long we’ve handicapped our primal understanding of our body, so much so that it’s become systemic. Improper movement, alignment and bad habits have become the norm. It’s been handed down from parents to kids, from teachers to students for the last 100+ years. And now you’re actually the misfit if you’re the one who stands up and does something about it.

We’ve been driving in our car with leather bucket seats to our desk job, where walk the 25 feet to our cubicles with comfy ergonomic chairs, and then we drive back home to sit glued to couches staring at the TV until it’s time to pass out. The entire time we’re slowly getting fatter, sicker and more broken.

Wall-E People

Disney ‘s Wall-E 2008

But enough of that… Back to the Pelvis.

The pelvic region is the lower part of your main trunk, which is mainly made up of a number of different bones including your sacrum, coccyx the two hip bones on the left and right.

The pelvis is so important because it connects your spine and upper body to your legs and plays a huge role in your balance and the distribution of your weight over your feet when standing or your butt when sitting.

Dozens of muscles and nerves run through this region and are responsible for moving your hips, lower back and legs. Some of them are also tied to your diaphragm and ensuring proper breathing.

Here’s a great TEDx talk about the way to use your pelvis as it should be. Esther Gokhale does a much better job of explaining it than I ever could. Check it out:

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Legal Stuff: Any tips or techniques that I share on this blog are not meant to serve as medical advice. I am no expert, I'm on the journey to learn more about my body, just as much as you are. If you have an existing medical condition or are concerned about anything related to your health - please seek the guidance of a licenses medical practitioner.

Sciatica? What’s that?

It started off with just a little tingle, one of those twitchy spasms you feel occasionally in a muscle. This time it was running down the back of my left thigh.

Definitely nothing to be concerned about.

It’ll just go away on it’s own I’m sure.

If you’re a guy like me, you can probably relate. If something feels off or I’m in a bit of pain the default strategy is to ignore it.

Much better to just hope it gets better than to talk to a doctor who could tell you how you’re really F’d up.

Well this time it didn’t just go away.

It got worse… the twitchy feeling turned into full on numbness that ran down my whole thigh and into my calf.  My lower back started to throb every time I sat down.

Not good… time to get some help?

Indeed!

To the internet!

Anyone who’s done it before would tell you (at least if they are a thoughtful and honest individual), if there’s something odd going on in your body DO NOT GOOGLE THE SYMPTOMS!  At least not if you plan on sleeping that night.

Within just 10 minutes of browsing through WebMD and other medical sites I started to think I had everything from a ruptured disk, to a viral infection, to cancer.

Would I need surgery?  Would I ever walk again? Why me??!?!?

Turns Out if you keep at it and learn to ask Google the right questions you can usually find the real cause of the symptoms you’re experiencing.

Actually what I was facing was a problem that was relatively simple to fix – Sciatica, caused by Piriformis Syndrome.

The experience of understanding and fixing a problem within my own body led me down the path that I’ve been on the for past few months.  Once I knew what the problem was, an imbalance in one particular muscle causing a chain reaction, I could begin to understand why it happened and things I could do to fix it.

Apparently sitting on your ass for 8 hours a day hunched over a keyboard and mouse, hacking away on code, is bad for you… who knew? Not to mention the hours I spend on the couch watching House of Cards.

More digging, reading and talking to people, I found a few stretches and exercises to work on the problem.

After a couple more weeks I stumbled on one simple exercise that uses a $3 rubber ball – fixed the problem and eliminated the pain almost immediately.

And guess what, there’s all kinds of shit in your body!  And… it’s all connected and stuff.  There are muscles and nerves and tendons and bones and other things I’d never heard of.

Did you know that there are 642 muscles in our body?  642!  What the hell?  I feel like I’ve been screwed, why haven’t I learned any of this before?

Sure there might have been some high school biology or anatomy class or something that I slept through.  But why isn’t knowledge of the human body more common place?  Why aren’t we taught about how it works and how to take care of it?  At least at a high level?

Here I am… I know dozens of things about the inner workings of my diesel VW Jetta.  Heck I know most of the components within the computer that I’m writing this post on.  I even know how the code within the WordPress software that I’m typing into works.

Why the fuck didn’t I know how the muscles in my own god damn body work?  Why can’t I explain the pieces that are involved in walking, standing, sitting, etc.  I’m not sure about you, but I do that shit pretty often.

And… even more than just how they work.  Why don’t I know how to take care of them, so that they work well and last my whole life?

As far as I know, this is the only body I’m going to get.  I’m still hoping for the time when I’ll be able to download my brain into a robot, but until that point I’m going to do my best to take care of what I’ve got.

Keep an eye out for more posts on details about what I’ve learned so far and what I keep learning.

 

 

 

 

 

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Legal Stuff: Any tips or techniques that I share on this blog are not meant to serve as medical advice. I am no expert, I'm on the journey to learn more about my body, just as much as you are. If you have an existing medical condition or are concerned about anything related to your health - please seek the guidance of a licenses medical practitioner.