Is posture your key to health?
Posture, something that we just do, right? Well yes, but is yours good, or less than good for you?
If you trawl the internet you’ll find some very in-depth documents about ‘optimal’ posture, but let's be honest, how many of us really look at this and pay attention to it throughout our day?
The truth is, your body knows about the effects of your posture - whether you are conscious of it or not. Here in lies the issue, I don’t want you ‘thinking’ about your posture, I want your posture to be good for you without you having to pay much attention to it, I want it to become part of your natural being – ‘It’s just how my body stands and moves’.
Good posture lines the ‘bricks' of your body (Skull, Vertabrae, Pelvis etc) one on top of the other. When the bricks are out of alignment your body has to ask questions of the muscles: ‘muscle can you please start to act like bone and take on way to much postural responsibility because the bricks are all over the place’. The muscle responds with ‘Yes, I can, but understand that I’m not designed for that job and as time passes I’m going to start to hurt you’. A key muscle that does this is your Quadratus Laburnum (QL). Located in your lower back region this muscle is often responsible for the feeling of lower back pain as it begins to do some of the job of your lumbar vertebrae.
So, what’s the starting point for you? Take a picture of your body from the front and from the side stood normally or ask a friend to look at you. Look at the images above (red muscles are usually short/tight, pink muscles are usually long/weak) and see if you have similarities to any of these postural issues. This will help you identify the long/weak and short/tight muscles (See March blog for more information). From here, stretching of the associated muscles that are short/tight can take place, though the long/weak will still need strengthening. I highly recommend doing this with a qualified professional with a C.H.E.K. background if you are serious about healing your pain.
(It is important to realise that just because you have similarities to one of the classic postural issues does not mean that you fit the exact short/tight muscle imbalance as the body is a complicated compensator – again I would recommend an assessment by a professional with a C.H.E.K background).