Do you notice any of these features on your body?
Rib Flares on one or both sides?
Depressed right shoulder?
One or both legs turned outward?
Curvature of the spine?
These are some of the common “postural” signs we observe in someone with strong patterns of compensations leading to muscle imbalances and being “out of alignment”. This can lead to fatigue, weakness, breathing imbalances, tight muscles/joints and excessive wear (e.g. arthritis, inflamed tendons) and injury to the body.
What is posture?
Many think of posture as how we sit or stand, how straight our back is or how we hold our heads up.
A simple definition for posture is: “a composite of the positions of all the joints of the body at any given moment.” -Florence Kendall
Posture reflects the overall balance of the muscles pulling on the bones, the alignment/position of the bones in relation to one another, and the tension we carry due to habit, stress or pain.
“If a position is habitual, there will be a correlation between alignment and muscle test findings.” –Florence Kendall.
Our bodies are actually designed to be asymmetrical from a right/left perspective. Look at the organs in our body: heart on the left, liver on the right, 3 chambers on the right lung compared to 2 chambers on the left. There will always be a tendency to favor one side due to this asymmetry in our bodies. When we let this tendency to favor one side get too dominant, muscle tension builds up and the cycle of pain and stiffness usually starts.
Whether you are experiencing low back pain, neck pain, headaches, shoulder pain or knee pain, it’s always important to address the underlying postural patterns that may be causing and/or maintaining your pain complaints.
A simple “sit up/stand up straight” command or quick adjustment to the spine will usually not suffice to completely correct poor posture. Following a Postural Restoration approach, specific individualized sequences of exercises in correct body positions that are progressively challenged are usually necessary to “reprogram” your body to stay in proper posture.
You can actually perform a few quick self-tests to see how “imbalanced” you’ve become.
1. While standing, shift your weight towards one side and then the other. Take note of the ease in which you can shift and keep your weight over one side vs. the other.
2. While sitting, reach and lay your hand over the opposite side knee and take a deep breath. Again, compare the ease of taking in air on opposite sides.
3. Also while sitting, cross your legs into a “figure 4” and note of the differences in ease of getting into that position.
If you’ve been dealing with chronic pain and you notice a fairly obvious difference with these tests, it is very important you have your posture evaluated.
For more information about Postural Restoration, contact us or check out www.posturalrestoration.com.
To receive treatment following a Postural Restoration approach, call us to schedule an appointment.