We can all remember back to a time when someone told us to sit up straight and not slouch. There is no doubt, there are benefits to assuming an ideal posture. Is it aesthetic or functional? I would venture to say that it is functional in the sense that it takes stress off of structures within our bodies that can cause us pain. One of these structures is our nervous system.
Our nervous system controls vital functions throughout our body as well as providing our muscles the input to contract and do work. Often times, the path that a nerve takes through our body is tortuous as it travels to it's destination. These nerves move as we move and adjust to changes in position. When our body posture changes with our different activities and even over our lifespan, we effectively alter this tension. When our posture changes for the worse..
...it becomes more likely that the mobility of our nerves has also decreased, as there is greater tension now. This is also a particularly common scenario following surgeries as there is usually a period of immobilization. When this occurs, we usually experience pain, numbness, tingling, and sometimes weakness. In many scenarios, working on postural exercises, flexibility, and nerve mobility resolves symptoms. At High Desert PT, we utilize techniques to keep this from becoming a limiting factor to the activities you enjoy.
Have a great day! Spring is just around the corner!
Michael Grajeda, PT, DPT
Ever given much thought to the way you move? Everyone develops a certain pattern of how they move throughout their day and even through certain activities. Sometimes this pattern can help us be more efficient when moving from point A to point B. Sometimes it can allow us to do something we wouldn't otherwise be able to do. But sometimes, we develop compensatory movement patterns without realizing it and sometimes these patterns may make it more likely that we feel discomfort or even injure ourselves.
For example, many people would likely tell you not to lift with your back. However, a person can lift with their back (ie deadlift) safely with proper technique. On the other hand, the common flexed back posture when lifting is a common strategy that dominates most people's movement patterns and may lead to injury. Once you understand how to hinge through your body's larger joints & rely on powerful muscles, you can decrease your likelihood of injuring yourself. This basic principle applies to everyone with virtually every activity level and hobby. From gardening to mountain biking to playing pickelball and even something as simple as unloading a dishwasher.
Our movement pattern dictates which tissue is stressed. Shifting loads onto tissue that can accept this stress and away from tissue that cannot, we can improve and maintain our physical health.