Stand up straight! Don’t slouch!
Did you hear that a lot as a kid? I did. I didn’t obey, and today I am sorry for it. My back and shoulder issues are worsening with age.
I don’t wear a lot of striped or plaid tops for this reason. This shirt does a great job of showing the problem – my right shoulder is lower and forward of my left shoulder, and I have a bit of a hunchback developing on my left side.
Because the top of my body slumps this way, the bottom of my body hyperextends the other way to compensate. You can really see it on this pants muslin. Those drag lines from the front thigh around to the back calf tell the tale:
Here’s what these back and shoulder issues look like from the front – note the two shoulder heights, plus drag lines on the right at the armpit, pointing to other fitting problems.
Three issues conspired in my childhood to create this problem:
- I was very tall for my age – about 5’4″ in 6th grade – and I was very ungainly and self-conscious. I slouched and slumped to try to make myself look smaller.
- I had a mild scoliosis. I should have worn a back brace, but I didn’t get one. I don’t really know why my parents ignored this. My mother once said she was afraid kids would pick on me. Anyway, we had no money.
- I wore a backpack to school slung over only my left shoulder, which probably partly explains why it developed the way it did.
My inability to stand up straight ruined my wedding pictures:
And it’s starting to cause me some pain. Things will only get worse if I don’t work on it.
My winter self-improvement plan involves working on my posture. I am going to try a few things:
- Medical assessment of my posture – how bad it is and what I can expect if I don’t address it
- Exercises to fix it, or at least to stop it from getting worse
- Gadgets and garments that might help
- Sewing and alterations to minimize the cosmetic problem
I am curious if any readers have struggled with this and have tips or experiences that I might find valuable. Please drop me a line if you do.