Many of the problems seen by physiotherapists, chiropractors and osteopaths are related to poor posture.
So what is meant by poor posture? By looking at ideal posture, we can more easily recognise if or where we are going wrong.
With an ideal posture the forces of gravity are evenly distributed through the body, so all the joints are in their neutral zone. There will be minimal wear and tear on these structures and the natural balance and correct length of the muscles is maintained. The results of well balanced muscles are normal movement patterns and all the vital organs being properly placed and therefore functioning correctly.
Alignment, once relaxed and focused you can move on to achieving good postural alignment, by constantly reminding the body how it should be standing , sitting, lying and moving Correctly. This helps you gradually bring the body back into better alignment and restores proper muscle balance. Exercising without giving due care and attention to the correct position of the joints can risk stress to those areas and building imbalances into the surrounding musculature.
Good alignment to each and every part of the body whilst exercising is crucial to safety and to correcting any inherent imbalances. This then, is what we all should aspire to; bearing in mind that we each have our own distinctive body shape, size and dimensions. So what goes wrong? We can summarize the factors which may influence your posture. Hereditary factors can play a part, for example, if your mother was Kyphotic there is a good chance you may be to, injuries or illness, both mental and physical can also play a large part on posture. Hobby or sport related factors can create muscle imbalances, the same goes for the type of job you do.
In the case of good posture, the head is in neutral neither tilted forward or back, the ribcage is not compressed so breathing is more efficient and the spine retains its natural curve. The benefits to the lower body are that the pelvis is in neutral, the knee joints are in a line and not hyper extended (locked back) and the lower leg is vertical and at a right angle to the sole of the foot.
There are many ways in which you can improve your posture and enrolling in a good exercise class with qualified instructors is a step in the right direction.