Good posture is one of the most vital elements of good health. Your posture really is worth your consideration in everyday life.
Maintaining a good posture will help you avoid many musculoskeletal injuries.. It is therefore very important to be aware of your body type and what your good posture looks and feels like. For many people, they first develop this awareness following assessment and treatment by a Physiotherapist for a physical ailment, often as a result of poor posture.
Once you visit your physiotherapist at Advanced Physio West, we can help you to identify and become aware of the specific postural problems you’re prolonging by slouching.
What is 'posture'?
Posture is the state of muscular or skeletal balance in any given position (American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons). An easier definition to understand is that posture is the position in which you hold your body while standing, sitting or lying down. Good posture involves training the body to move and hold positions with the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments.
Benefits of good posture
Keeps bones and joints in correct alignment allowing muscles to function correctly
Helps minimise the ‘wear and tear’ of joint surfaces
Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spine together
Prevents the spine from becoming fixed in abnormal, painful positions
Prevents fatigue because muscles are being used more efficiently
Prevents backache, muscular pain and headaches
What causes Poor Posture
Poor posture is the result of musculoskeletal distortion in the neck, and lower and upper back. Muscles tighten up or shorten while others lengthen and become weak which often occurs as a result of one’s daily activities
Poor sitting posture can be one of the main causes of neck pain and postural backache. Even with a good sitting posture it is not easy to maintain for long periods of time. This is why it is so important to stand up and take regular breaks from sitting, even for a few minutes.
How to achieve good posture
It is possible to correct poor posture with practice. First you must be aware of your current posture and begin making adjustments in everyday activities. This will take time, but will improve with practice. Combining this effort with a suitable exercise routine will make a tremendous difference. An exercise program will help you build muscle flexibility, strengthen postural muscles and bring your body back into proper balance.
How can the Physiotherapist help me
Firstly the Physiotherapist analyse your Posture. This will involve an assessment of your spinal position in different positions, such as sitting, bending, lying, walking.
Often, the Physiotherapist will find that the important muscles that should normally keep posture correct have become weak, and the ones that work against good posture have become too strong and too short, so we need to balance them all out again. Your physiotherapist will give you a series of exercises designed to strengthen these postural muscles.
The goal is to once more get your head held upright on its supportive base; and the back neck muscles (neck extensors) and front neck muscles (neck flexors) work together properly to keep your head upright with the least amount of effort.
If you would like more information on Posture, or to arrange an appointment with the Physiotherapist at Advanced Physio West in Roscommon or Galway, please phone 090 6626023/ 086 3758169 or book online
Article by Paul Lennon MISCP