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Is Your Posture Ideal For You?

Posture can be broken down into active and inactive posture.

Inactive posture - the posture you adopt when you are lying down resting or sleeping, your muscles are relaxed.

Active posture - the posture you adopt when you you are sitting, standing or moving, your muscles are active. Active posture can be further broken down into 2 categories:

1. Static Posture - the posture you adopt when you are standing or sitting.

2. Dynamic Posture - the posture you adopt when you are moving.

There are 4 main common postural tendencies and most of us will find we can recognise some of these postural traits within our selves to some degree, the most balanced posture is considered to be ideal/neutral posture and the deviations from ideal/neutral posture are likely to come about from the bodies incredible ability to compensate and adapt, which often result in muscle imbalances which may lead to postural traits occurring.

A very brief over view of the 4 main postural tendencies:

A. Ideal / Neutral posture - joints appear stacked when standing, ears, head, shoulders, spine, hips, knees and ankles all find themselves in line. The muscles appear balanced and the body in this position is deemed the most mechanically efficient for distributing weight evenly throughout the body, reducing risk of any injury and unneeded stress on your joints.

B. Lordotic / Kyphotic posture - excessive curvatures in one or all of the 3 main sections of the spine. Lumbar lordosis (lower spine) pelvis is tilted anteriorly. Thoracic kyphosis (upper spine) shoulders appear forward. Cervical lordosis (neck) head is held slightly forward. Muscular imbalances are present.

C. Flat back posture - lumbar and thoracic spine appear flat, pelvis is posteriorly tilted. Knees often fully extended or hyperextended. Muscular imbalances are present.

D. Sway back posture - slightly flatter lumbar spine, posteriorly tilted pelvis, extended hip joint, knees fully extended or hyperextended. The upper body compensates by appearing to lean back. Muscular imbalances are present.

To prevent pain we should aim to experience ideal posture to allow our bodies to create and experience equilibrium between the joints and muscles, remember ideal posture allows the body to move most efficiently, check in with yourself through the day and try to correct your posture even if its just for a few seconds.

Many of us strive for Ideal posture, but the reality is all of our bodies are different and our bodies adapt to the lifestyles that we lead, so our posture may not be physically ideal according to the picture above but our posture becomes ideal for the tasks we ask it to carry out regularly, and these imbalances that are present are not deemed as a problem unless of course you are experiencing pain that interferes with the lifestyle you lead or want to lead.

It's important that your posture is working for you, I will carry out a posture analysis and ask a variety of questions about lifestyle, pain, activities, sports and hobbies during your consultation, so I can work with you and your body and give you personalised advice, stretches and exercises where necessary to carry out between appointments that will help you benefit even further from your soft tissue treatment.

To book your appointment or ask any questions you can get in touch here.

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