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Genetics or Habits?


I have had a lot of conversations on the topic lately of whether problems we experience are actually genetics or are they actually due to environmental and lifestyle factors.  Because it has come up several times, I thought I would address it here.

Many conditions that people develop are blamed on genetics.  Talk to most people and you will hear them say a family member has/had whatever the person is dealing with so it makes sense that they would be having the issue.

The question I raise, though, is how much is based on learned habits or environmental factors?

Some thoughts to consider:

  • Many people experience arthritis, knee pain, shoulder pain, back pain, etc. They will tell you that their mother, father, brother, sister, etc. has the same problem.  A lot of these conditions can be prevented by correcting movement patterns, not sitting as much, using better mechanics when lifting/carrying, etc.  Who did you observe when you were younger when learning how to move?  Most likely this was learned from watching family members when young  and has been ingrained in your subconscious of how to do something.
  • Some conditions can be due to eating habits and environmental. For at least 17-18 years of your life, you most likely lived in the same house as your parents and siblings.  This means you likely ate the same foods, breathed the same area, dealt with the same environmental contaminants (possibly), and lived a similar lifestyle.  Living a similar lifestyle will contribute to similar medical/health issues.  This does not mean it is genetic, it means you lived under the same roof in the same living conditions.

Am I saying that there are not any conditions that can be contributed to genetics?  Absolutely not.  There are so many factors that play into what happens to our bodies and so much we still don’t know.

I just want to get you thinking about it.  Are you living with the problems you have because you think you are destined to have those problems?  If so, that may not be the case after all, especially when it comes to joint pain.

If you are suffering with joint pain or arthritis, find a movement specialist (such as a physical therapist or chiropractor) who knows how to assess and restore movement patterns to get you out of your habits and get you back to the life you are missing out on.

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