Sore neck? Aching lower back? Tight chest? Feel like your body is constantly breaking down for no reason? A Postural Assessment may be your answer
Are you a slumper? Chances are if you do a quick body check while you’re reading this you’ll find your posture may be less than ideal – with your shoulders rounded forward, upper back curled into something like a large ‘C’ and that it’s topped off by your head moving forward to another post code.
Good posture is about more than standing up straight so you can look your best.
Our posture affects us in so many unexpected ways. You probably are aware of the benefits that ‘sitting up straight’ helps reduce certain overuse injuries, ongoing neck or back pain, but are you aware that a strong posture gives you a more firm conviction and beliefs in your thoughts? Or that an uplifted posture improves your decision making? Perhaps another unexpected link is how posture effects breathing patterns, which can be associated with increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.
As our posture slowly changes over time we get changes in our bony alignment and muscle integrity. When these structures are then placed under load, they are more easily susceptible to breaking down and therefore our chance of injury is increased.
Effects of poor posture can be:
- Increased susceptibility to injury,
- reduced sporting and exercise performance,
- alters how we look
- Cause neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Misalign your musculoskeletal system
- Increased pressure on the spine, making it more prone to injury and degeneration
- Decreased flexibility
- Affect how well joints move
- Affect balance and increase risk of falling
- Make it harder to digest food
- Make it harder to breathe
- Contributing factor in low back pain, some studies have shown that improved posture and postural control can have a positive effect on pain.
- Increase pain from prior injuries
- Affect mood and energy levels
A postural assessment will help to optimise your ability to function through the day, reduce pain and niggles and increase performance in sport or daily life.
If you feel a posture assessment might be something you would like to know more about, whether you sit all day in an office, are an elite athlete and anywhere in between, contact us to make an appointment
What is a postural assessment?
Our posture is the position in which you hold your body when standing, sitting or lying down. Postural assessments look at your static posture to see if there are any imbalances that could cause or are causing pain and discomfort. A postural assessment is also a great way to understand performance limitations that could be caused by muscle imbalances.
Your body functions at its best when it is in an optimal posture. When the body is in correct postural alignment, it moves and distributes weight evenly and appropriately. This enables the muscles, joints and spine to work together to help us move effortlessly. If something is out of alignment, then injury and pain can occur.
Your postural assessment will be conducted by one of our expert Exercise Physiologist’s or Physiotherapist’s. They will investigate how your body is moving and functioning based on your static standing and sitting postures. They will work with you to look for compensations and imbalances that may have occurred, and put together a plan to treat the underlying causes.
Our postural assessments also include manual tests that check how well your muscles and joints are working together and if there are any imbalances to be corrected.
What are the benefits of a postural assessment?
Understanding more about your posture and any imbalances that may be present will provide the following benefits:
- A starting point for selective muscle lengthening and increased flexibility
- Keeping joints in the correct postural alignment (to support the muscles)
- Preventing the spine from becoming locked into an irregular position
- Preventing strain and overuse of muscles
- Improving proprioception/balance and weight transference
- Improving core stability and muscle balance around the pelvis
Once we both understand your starting point and desired goals we can move onto developing a plan in conjunction with you to attain them. This may be in the form of a corrective exercise programme, paying attention to specific areas of weakness.
The outcome is a stronger, more resilient you, able to perform at higher levels.