spine
Jul. 28.

Posture Perfect

Posture Perfect

Your posture can say a lot about you. As a first impression posture speaks volumes about your confidence. Your posture also tells of your day to day activities. Your daily repeated habits teach your central nervous system to create these habit pathways therefore causing poor posture. These learned pathways often throw the body out of alignment, causing  pain and/or injury.

How to tell if you are out of alignment?

-          The first sign you may notice is pain. Many times clients are in pain and do not realize the pain is not caused by the muscles at the site of the pain. Pain is often and indicator  of an alignment issue caused by muscle imbalances.

-          If you predominately do everything with your dominate side. Meaning you carry bags on one side, you get out of bed with one leg, you pick up things with the dominate hand etc. these all can cause the muscles to become stronger on one side of the body, pulling the skeletal structure out of alignment.

-          How you sleep is a big one. Do you sleep on one side? Do you sleep in the fetal position? Having the body keep this position for 8 hours every day can be causing you posture issues and your pain.

Muscle Relations

The body can be divided into two groups of muscles that work in pairs around joints to create motion: tonic and phasic.

TONIC- These muscles are the flexor muscles and often the more dominate muscles. They can easily become tight due to over use or under use.

Tonic-and-Phasic-Muscles

PHASIC- These muscles are the extensor muscles. They are antagonists to tonic muscles. They tend to be more flaccid and weaker than tonic muscles.

 

Common Posture Imbalances

-          Upper- cross syndrome

upper 2

Tonic- Stenocleidomastoid, Scalenes, Levator Scapulae, Upper Trapezius, Pectoralis major

Phasic-Neck flexors, Rhomboids, Serratus Anterior, Lower Trapezius

Postural Change- protracted shoulders, winged or abducted scapula, increased cervical lordosis (curve/”sway” in neck), forward head, thoracic spine curvature increase

-          Lower- cross syndrome

 lower-cross-syndrome

Tonic (tight)- Gastroc-soleus, tibialis, posterior hip adductors, hamstrings, rectus femoris, Iliopsoas ,tensor fascia lata, Piriformis, Quadratus Lumborum

Phasic (weak or inactive)- Peroneus Longus, Tibialis, Anterior Vastus Medialis, Lateralis, Gluteus Maximus, Medius, Minimus, Rectus Abdominus

Postural Change- anterior pelvic tilt, increased lumbar lordosis, lateral leg rotation, knee hyperextension

 

         Forward Head

ForwardHdEv

Tonic- sternocleidomastoids, anterior scalenes

Postural Change- The head is forward. A correct posture the middle of the should is directly in line with the middle of the ear.

 

-         Uneven Shoulders

jennifer-back-smaller-with-good-color-tilt-arrows

Tonic- Trapezius on elevated side

Phasic- Serratus anterior on elevated side

Posture Change- When standing in the anatomical position one shoulder appears to be higher than the other. Scapula distance from spine is different on one side.

Causes172943-bad-posture

Posture imbalances are due to either trauma or repetitive behaviors that teach the  central nervous system to react a certain way when controlling or stabilizing posture. Computers, sitting at a desk, video games, cell phones, purses or repetitive movements due to one’s occupation are common causes of posture imbalances.  Sitting at a desk on a computer without proper posture  is one cause we most often see that causes imbalances throughout the entire body.  A quick exercise to help check your posture throughout the day is the Brugger exercise.

 

Brugger exercise

brugger

  • Sit towards the edge of your seat; this will naturally place your lower back into a curve
  • Separate your legs to 45 degrees each side with your feet turned out slightly
  • Your shoulders are relaxed and down with your chin tucked in
  • Fully extend both elbows. Make sure you keep your shoulders down and imagine your shoulder blades are pushing down then together .
  • Turn your thumbs out, palms up and separate your fingers.
  • Hold for 10 seconds repeating a few times a day.

Correction

1. Implement posture exercises such as the Brugger exercise throughout the day.

2. Side sleepers, grab a large pillow to keep your shoulders and hips open throughout the night.

3. Strengthen the phasic muscles and stretch the tonic muscles.

4. Strengthen your core

 

Pain free training starts here.  

Listed

“Another Example of a Postural Evaluation.” Breddyorg. N.p., 21 Feb. 2013. Web. 27 July 2015.

Dalton, Erik. “Strategies to Address Forward Head Posture.” Strategies to Address Forward Head Posture. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 July 2015.

Nagelkirk, Jessica. “Dr. Nagelkirk: 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture.” Dr. Nagelkirk: 4 Exercises to Improve Your Posture. N.p., 19 July 2013. Web. 27 July 2015.

“Lower Cross Syndrome.” Coast Clinic. N.p., 04 Apr. 2012. Web. 27 July 2015.

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