So, what do we mean by posture analysis?
A good posture helps your balance, prevents injury or overuse problems, and reduces back pain and muscle pain. Put simply, a good posture aligns all your body parts to work together more efficiently.
Slouching, slumping, holding the phone between your ear and shoulder and wearing high-heels (sorry girls!) all encourage bad posture. Over time, muscles weaken and can no longer hold your body in the correct position.
Before you develop back pain, neck pain, headaches, or hip pain - first evaluate your posture and then take action for posture correction.
One of my favourite activities at my physiotherapy practice is analysing posture. So much can be learned - and improved upon!
Do you have a good posture?
Lets have a look - let’s do a “posture analysis”.
Here is a guide for a good standing posture:
- Feet and knees should be hip distance apart and facing forwards.
- Knees should be soft but not bent.
- Your pelvis should be half way between north and south tilt - that is half way between thrusting your pelvis forwards like Elvis, and sticking your bottom out like J-Lo!
- Your shoulder blades should be gently held downwards and inwards.
- Your head should be in line with your spine - to achieve this imagine a helium balloon coming out from the top of your head lifting your head towards the sky.
Posture should be active not passive
When you have the correct standing posture a plumb line falling by the side of your body should fall through your ear, through the middle of your shoulder and hip and slightly forward of your ankle bone.
Commonly, most of us will not have a perfect posture on postural analysis. This is due to genetical alignments - that is the way you came into this world. A lot of us have flat feet and poor postures as a result of genes. However, more of us have a poor posture as a result of poor postural habits. These habits become part of our overall posture with time.
The good news is that we can change both genetical and bad postural habits. However, genetical posture abnormalities do take longer to resolve, and require commitment to postural awareness and certain posture exercises over many months and sometimes years.
Poor posture resulting from our own activities and habits are easier to resolve with basic postural awareness and home exercises. Pilates is my own programme of choice in this situation - preferably taught by a chartered physiotherapist with experience in this field.
Probably one in ten of us have a perfect posture without effort. My advice is to prevent the injury inevitably associated with poor posture before it arises. You will both feel and look better!
However, if pain is already present, my advice is to have your posture analysed and then work hard to rectify it. It is very possible with the right level of commitment and determination. Remember, incorrect posture is the primary cause of back pain in my world!
While the content and materials contained in the articles on this website have been written & researched by Sally Ann Quirke, a professional, practising & fully qualified Chartered Physiotherapist (Physical Therapist) based in Ireland, they are provided for general information and educational purposes only. They do not constitute medical advice on any particular individual situation. Please see your Chartered Physiotherapist or other medical practitioner for full and individual consultation.
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