Posture reflects the ability of our body to be upright against the constant pull of gravity. Our ability to manage gravity is as fundamental to health as is oxygen and water. With posture collapse, we can experience joint stiffness, pain and degeneration; lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and poor bladder control; depression; poor confidence and poor memory, etc. The greater the posture collapse, the greater the risk for any or all of the forementioned.
Within a physiotherapy context, so many of the injuries and pain complaints our clients present with are complicated by underlying poor posture. And so very often, our clients have accepted their slump/poor posture as a factor of age or occupation; sometimes even genetics. This general trend is made much worse by the computer age in which we live. When tech neck or forward head posture is more frequently seen than normal head position, it is hard to appreciate poor posture for the significant threat it is to good health.
Poor posture causes or complicates a great number of the injuries and pain conditions that we see. Most injuries not associated with clear trauma have poor joint or spinal alignment. These injuries are often called repetitive strain injuries when the major joints are involved; and poor posture or posture collapse when the spine is involved. Examples of repetitive strain injuries include: sub-acromial bursitis, supraspinatus or bicipital tendonitis of the shoulder area; tennis elbow; trochanteric bursitis of the hip; infrapatellar bursitis of the knee; and plantarfasciitis or achilles tendonitis of the foot. Carpal tunnel can relate to both the neck and the wrist. Spinal posture collapse conditions include: ‘slipped discs’, spinal stenosis, sciatica and some conditions newly named and associated with computer and hand-held digital devices. These include: forward head posture, tech neck, digital dementia, sitting disease and computer vision syndrome.
Particularly challenging are injuries sustained from trauma, like motor vehicle accidents. Poor alignment is clearly not a cause of the injury, but if present can delay, even prevent good recovery.
For most pain conditions with a postural component, a complete posture analysis will identify alignment anomalies throughout the body which may impact your pain presentation. Exercises which can correct these anomalies differ from general exercise in many ways, including care with starting position, low effort and mindfulness. Alignment and posture are corrected before strength is addressed. A bonus for our clients is that posture exercises, well performed, are pain relieving; and an important part of a pain management program.
It has become important to correct ergonomics as part of the remedy for pain presentations in people who have to or choose to spend long periods of time engaging with computer related devices.
We can help you understand and correct posture related pain conditions.