Posture: What About It?
Posture is defined as the relative position or attitude of the body at any one period of time. Correct posture is the position in which minimal stress is applied to your joints. Very often painful conditions of the spine and extremities can originate in areas of high stress often precipitated by faulty postures and musculoskeletal imbalances.
Faulty Posture Can Cause Stress and Pain
Faulty postures do not always present with spine or extremity pain initially since many individuals have the joint strength and mobility to correct aberrant positions and minimize stresses. Unfortunately, not all of us have good postural habit and the ability to correct poor positioning. This often leads to chronic stress and wear of otherwise normal joints in their attempt to accommodate for these faulty positions.
Examples of typical postural faults often encountered include but are not limited to forward head positioning, rounded shoulders, and loss of the normal lordosis (curve, see below) in the lower back. Early warning signs of postural problems may include the inability to sit or stand for prolonged periods of time, stiffness when rising from a chair after sitting or a feeling of physical exhaustion at the end of the day. Failure to correct these early warning signs often leads to muscle imbalances, loss of normal flexibility and often discomfort which appears to have been brought on for no apparent reason.
With the appropriate treatment, correction is relatively easy and beneficial to all!
Role of Physical Therapists
Physical therapists specialize in the evaluation and treatment of musculoskeltal dysfunction and can be of immeasurable value in identifying and screening for postural dysfunction. On your initial visit the physical therapist will do a complete and detailed evaluation identifying any possible postural, limitations and then through a comprehensive individualized approach identify a treatment plan that will best suit your needs.