We don’t choose our posture, our posture chooses us~
If you look like the dude above, call me now!
Definition of posture
The position or bearing of the body whether characteristic or assumed for a special purpose erect posture .
Good posture is about more than standing up straight so you can look your best.
- It is an important part of your long-term health.
- Making sure that you hold your body the right way, whether you are moving or still, can prevent pain, injuries, and other health problems.
What is posture?
Posture is defined as the attitude assumed by the body either with support during the course of muscular activity, or as a result of the coordinated action performed by a group of muscles working to maintain the stability. There are two types:
- Dynamic posture is how you hold yourself when you are moving, like when you are walking, running, or bending over to pick up something. It is usually required to form an efficient basis for movement. Muscles and non-contractile structures have to work to adapt to changing circumstances.
- Static posture is how you hold yourself when you are not moving, like when you are sitting, standing, or sleeping. Body segments are aligned and maintained in fixed positions. This is usually achieved by co-ordination and interaction of various muscle groups which are working statically to counteract gravity and other forces.
It is important to make sure that you have good dynamic and static posture.
The key to good posture is the position of the spine. The spine has three natural curves – at your neck, mid/upper back, and lower back. Correct posture should maintain these curves, but not increase them. Your head should be above your shoulders, and the top of your shoulder should be over the hips.
- In an ideal posture, the line of gravity should pass through specific points of the body. This can simply be observed or evaluated using a plumb line to assess the midline of the body.
- This line should pass through the lobe of the ear, the shoulder joint, the hip joint, though the greater trochanter of the femur, then slightly anterior to the midline of the knee joint and lastly anterior to the lateral malleolus.
- When viewed from either the front or the back, the vertical line passing through the body’s centre of gravity should theoretically bisect the body into two equal halves, with the bodyweight distributed evenly between the two feet.
While assessing posture, symmetry and rotations/tilts should be observed in the anterior, lateral and posterior views. Assess:
- Head alignment
- Cervical, thoracic and lumbar curvature
- Shoulder level symmetry
- Pelvic symmetry
- Hip, knee and ankle joints
- The ears should be aligned with the shoulders and the shoulders aligned with the hips
- The shoulders should be relaxed and elbows are close to the sides of the body
- The angle of the elbows, hips and knees is approximately 90 degrees
- The feet flat on the floor
- The forearms are parallel to the floor with wrists straight
- Feet should rest comfortably on a surface
Posture and Health
Poor posture can be bad for your health. Slouching
- Misalign your musculoskeletal system
- Increase pressure on the spine, making it more prone to injury and degeneration
- Cause neck, shoulder, and back pain
- Decrease flexibility
- Affect how well joints move
- Affect balance and increase the risk of falls and serious injuries.
- Make it harder to digest food
- Make it harder to breathe by compressing the diaphragm.
- The Relationship Between Posture and Pain.
Chiropractic spine adjusting to correct posture:
Getting adjusted removes nerve interference’s that directly cause poor muscle tone and this leads to poor posture almost always. By improving the mechanical systems of the body, you will naturally stand straighter. Patient’s almost always leave after a proper spine adjustment saying they feel much “taller”. That they’re “standing straight” without trying that is… it’s automatic.
Call and book an appointment to get your spine adjusted and see first handedly for yourself. You be the judge.
Schedule an appointment with Dr. Sirota for improving posture. Get a 3-D postural body scan and foot scan to see if any of your postural concerns are due to issues in your feet and arches. More on the 3D body scan
Physiotherapy & Physical Therapy by Dr. Sirota
Education, teach client about…
- Be mindful of posture during everyday activities, like watching television, washing dishes, or walking
- Stay active. Any kind of exercise may help improve your posture, but certain types of exercises can be especially helpful. eg. yoga, tai chi, and other classes that focuses on body awareness. It is also a good idea to do exercises that strengthen your core.
- Maintain a healthy weight, obesity will weaken your core and promote issues within your pelvis and spine. This can contribute to low back pain, neck pain, and a general feeling of unease and or malaise.
- Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes. High heels, for example, can throw off balance and force person to assume an abnormal gait. This puts more stress and demand on muscles and harms posture at the very minimum.
- Make sure work surfaces are at a comfortable height for you, whether sitting in front of a computer, making dinner, or eating.
Physiotherapist can identify posture style and provide hands-on treatment, posture correction exercises and helpful home products for you to achieve great posture. Some of objectives are listed below:
- Obtain Normal Joint Range of Motion. Necessary to allow you achieve good posture alignment. Your Chiropractor will help out here especially!
- Obtain Normal Muscle Length. If muscles too tight client will be unable to attain a normal posture, this means stretching daily.
- Obtain good muscle strength through resistance training and stretching on a regular schedule. Try to obtain Excellent Muscle Endurance. Postural muscles need to able to work for hours on end. Poor endurance is a major factor in habitual poor posture, often resulting in a patient who has to use a Walker or assistive device just to stand vertical.
- Good Spatial Awareness i.e where you are in space. Provide with verbal and visual feedback.
- Professional taping done at Sirota Chiropractic Offices to support your feet when you are overpronating. Ie: Flat footed, heel spurs; Plantar Fascitis all contribute to poor posture and mechanics.
- Perfect Posture Habits. The hardest part is the initial change, then reinforcing the correct habits daily.
Muscle Action in Posture
The balanced posture of the body reduces the work done by the muscles in maintaining it in an erect posture. It has been determined (using electromyography) that, in general
- The intrinsic muscles of the feet are quiescent, because of the support provided by the ligaments. Unless your overpronating due to flat feet or increased arch high arch, ridged foot, can all cause postural imbalances.
- Calf muscles and there are only two main muscles here: The Soleus muscle, is constantly active because gravity tends to pull the body forward over the feet. The deep posterior tibialis muscles are less frequently active. However when they are over active you can feel pain along the bone of your Shin also known as a shin splint. The Tibialis posterior and the Tibialis anterior both can contribute to this painful lower leg condition. If you think you have that, come in asap so we can fix it.
- The Tibialis Anterior is an extensor muscle of your foot. It helps to raise your feet as in trying to reach your nose with your toes/feet. This very strong muscle is less active (unless high heels are being worn).
- Thigh muscles such as your Quads and Hamstrings are generally not as active.
- Your HIP Flexors are constantly active, and can be a MAJOR SOURCE of low back pain and groin pain.
- The Gluteus Maximus muscle your (Butt) muscle, is inactive.
- To counteract lateral postural sway, we use the Gluteus Medius muscles and the TFL and Iiio-Tibial band for abduction of the legs from the body.
- Major postural muscles that run vertically up and down the spine like thick cables on a bridge called the Erector Spinae group, is active, counteracting gravity’s pull forwards.
- The abdominal muscles remain quiescent, although the lower fibers of the oblique muscles are active in order to protect the inguinal canal
Examples of Types of Standing Posture
Some of the examples of faulty posture can be as follows: This can be corrected with Chiropractic adjustments to control your nervous system’s effects on your posture.
- Lordosis refers to the normal inward curvature of the spine. When this curve is exaggerated it is usually referred to as hyper-lordosis. The pelvis is usually tilted anteriorly.
- Swayback posture: In this type of posture, there is forward head, hyper-extension of the cervical spine, flexion of the thoracic spine, lumbar spine extension, posterior tilt of the pelvis, hip and knee hyper-extension and ankle slightly plantarflexed.
- Flat back posture- In this type of posture, there is forward head, extension of the cervical spine, extension of the thoracic spine, loss of lumbar lordosis and posterior pelvic tilt.
- Forward head tilt posture – Describes the shift of the head forward with the chin poking out. It is caused by increased flexion of the lower cervical spine and upper thoracic spine with increased extension of the upper cervical spine and extension of the occiput on C1.
- An abnormal curvature of the spine known well as Scoliosis, otherwise known as a deviation of the normal vertical line of the spine, consisting of a lateral curvature and rotation of the vertebrae. Scoliosis is considered when there is at least 10° of spinal angulation on the posterior-anterior radiograph associated with vertebral rotation. This is a 3 dimensional C or S shaped sideways curve of the spine.
- Roundback aka Kyphosis is described as an increased convex curve observed in the thoracic or sacral regions of the spine.