Posture typically refers to how the body positions itself as a whole. “Good” posture indicates a certain positioning, with alignment of the neck, torso, pelvis, arms and legs in such a manner that our “natural” spinal curves remain neutral, or not bent, as we sit, stand or move about. This assures optimal balance and proportion of our body mass and framework, affecting breathing, bodily fluid circulation and muscle and joint control, with minimized stress to the joints, muscles, vertebrae and tissue.
“Poor” posture is defined as when our spine is carried or positioned in unnatural positions, in which the curves are accentuated, thus positioning the joints, muscles and vertebrae in stressful positions. Prolonged poor positioning or use of stressful movements results in accumulation of pressure on these tissues. Over time, dysfunction will occur because these tissues are overused, resulting in pain, difficulty with breathing, increased joint wear and tear, decreased endurance and weakness and possibly entrapment of nerves, arteries, veins and tendons. Compensatory movements and/or positions (abnormal movements and/or positions that are utilized to offset dysfunction) are the result; the body is unbalanced, certain muscles and joints are over utilized and others are underutilized resulting in body asymmetry. Postural dysfunction, typically, is a result of an individual’s lifestyle and/or occupational demands.
There are corrective exercises and movements that are available to minimize, if not eliminate, postural dysfunction. Please contact Rehabilitation Services for assistance.