Each patient consultation includes a postural analysis. This helps us determine if any postural alternations are present and allows us to identify how the body is coping with a given injury or dysfunction.
What is posture?
Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down. Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities. By minimizing the stress exerted on the the muskuloskeletal system, we decrease the risk of suffering from dysfunction or injuries. Poor posture has been linked to abnormal wearing of joint surfaces, icreased risk of degenerative arthritis, increased muscle fatigue/ strain and overuse disorders, among other issues.
Why good posture matters
Good posture is important to balance: by standing up straight, you center your weight over your feet. This also helps you maintain correct form while exercising, which results in fewer injuries and greater gains. And working on balance can even strengthen your abilities in sports or activities.
What influences posture?
To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility, balance and strength and normal joint motion. However, what matters the most is that you make a conscious effort to maintain a good posture and to keep yourself straight. Several factors can influence postural changes such as:
- Unhealthy sitting and standing habits
- Incorrect work posture/ workstation
- Weak/tight postural musculature
- Decreased flexibility
- Previous injuries/ trauma
- Skeletal variances (e.g. leg length discrepency)
- Poor footwear (e.g. high-heeled shoes) to name a few.
Can I correct my posture?
Because joints and muscles adapt to long-standing poor posture, the longer we take to address the longer it can take to correct. Conscious awareness of your own posture and knowing what posture is correct will help you consciously correct yourself. With practice, the correct posture for standing, sitting, and lying down will gradually replace your old posture. This, in turn, will help you move toward a better and healthier body position.
We can assist you with improving your posture by eliminating mechanical barriers, recommending exercises to strengthen your core postural muscles and correcting an anatomical leg length discrepancy with an orthotic/heel lift if required.