Posture means the position of our bodies i.e. sitting, standing, etc. To attain a balanced posture, we need proper body alignment with accurate muscle tension against gravity. Generally, we don’t maintain a normal posture. Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don’t even have to think about it.
With a good and maintain posture our bodies walk, sit, etc. and impacts less strain on supporting ligaments or muscles.
* Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
* Reduces the strain on the spinal joints/ligaments, minimizing the likelihood of injury.
* Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
* Helps prevent muscular pain, back pain, overuse disorders and muscle strain.
Most postures can be sustained for a short time however certain sitting or standing postures can place increased pressures on discs. Prolonged periods in these postures can cause adaptive shortening of various tissues. This may be associated with musculoskeletal discomfort and dysfunction in some people. Physiotherapists are trained in the assessment of posture and ergonomics and can assist in managing postural problems.
Role of physiotherapy
Muscle tightness, resulting from prolonged postures and associated pre-existing characteristics, can lead to changes in pressure distribution over joint surfaces and may lead to degeneration. Poor prolonged posture will also result in weakening of postural muscles making it increasingly difficult to attain better posture.
A physiotherapist can help and will begin by conducting a thorough assessment of the patient’s posture. This can include:
* Detailed postural observation
* Muscle length, strength and muscle control testing
* Full joint assessment
* Evaluation of functional tasks
Benefits of physiotherapy
Physiotherapy techniques include postural taping and education on postural awareness at work, home and during recreation are used. Physiotherapists may also use hands-on techniques to treat joint problems by specific joint mobilization and manipulation.
By seeking the advice and treatment of physiotherapists in the management of postural conditions, patients can experience significant improvements in their pain and functional capacity and prevent recurrence of the problem.
To maintain proper posture, you need to have adequate muscle flexibility and strength, normal joint motion in the spine and other body regions, as well as efficient postural muscles that are balanced on both sides of the spine. Additionally, you have to recognize your postural habits or movements at different places i.e. home or workplace to rectify them, if necessary. By putting this knowledge into practice you can prevent the anatomical changes that can develop if poor posture is left uncorrected.