Posture Correction Begins With Awareness
The BioPerformance Institute
November 14, 2022
Postural dysfunction is at the root of the majority of injuries that occur to the human body and is primary result of the combined affects of gravity and inequality of muscle function on opposing sides of joints. When we are young postural muscle function tends to be fairly symmetrical throughout the body and gravity over time has not had a substantial impact on the body. With age, however, the human nervous system has a propensity to move towards over activation of the flexor muscles (muscles that move the body toward the fetal position) and inhibition or weakness of the extensor muscles (muscles that move the body away from the fetal position). The head tends to project forward, shoulder rotate inward and down, the mid (thoracic) spine excessively bends forward, the low back (lumbar spine) sways with forward movement of the pelvis, knees bow in or out, and ankles / feet move into a flat foot (pronated) position.
Initial changes in posture are mostly a result of inappropriate muscle function or habit, but if poor posture persists tissue lengths change resulting in both a muscle function problem and a flexibility problem. Dysfunctional postures will create excessive loads to the “weakest link” area in the system and eventually will cause tissue breakdown and pain. Correction of postural dysfunction has to address both the muscle function problem, flexibility problem, and any other barriers to movement such as injury or disease that may exist.
Evaluation by a trained professional is critical to developing an effective postural correction plan. The first step of postural correction begins with awareness of what is wrong and how to correct it. Typical postural correction will include stretching to lengthen the shortened tissues along with exercise to facilitate extensor muscle function and general conditioning. Remember posture changes slowly so it will take some time to see results, but progress can be made at any age. Investing in activity that improves your posture will help you feel better, look better, move better, and prevent future injury.