Importance of postural education
Posture refers to the body’s alignment and positioning with respect to the always present force of gravity. Whether sitting, standing, or laying down; gravity is exerting force on our joints, ligaments, and muscles. Postural assessments help indicate undue stresses and strain on your bones, joints, ligaments, and muscles.
Because your joints are operated by your muscles, faulty postural alignments more importantly tell us what muscles may be dysfunctionally operating your joints. Repeated movements and prolongedpostures cause joint deviations, making them (your joints) less efficient, and in some cases painful. The changes that occur with repeated movements due to sustained postures also develop neuromuscular changes. These are the changes that take place as your brain sends signals to your muscles, which have been conditioned to move in a path of least resistance.
The process of “bad posture” develops over time, while looking at a computer monitor to the left of you at your desk every day, or carrying a heavy bag on one side of your body for years. Changes in alignment also commonly present in athletes. This is most often due to strength and flexibility imbalances with overtraining or overstretching. A perfect example seen in NYC is the weekend warrior training with a faulty muscular system. It is important to remember that faulty alignment is always muscular imbalance, which is what leads to muscle pain or poor joint dysfunction.
In short: when your muscles become elongated or shortened due to postural deficits, they won’t operate your joints properly. The result of this is decreased movement efficiency, pain, and “wear and tear” on your joints. But there is good news! Your muscles are connected to your brain, and with the right education, behavioral modifications, and other possible necessary measures, reversing these undue stresses on your body can be done surprisingly quickly. Learning how your body works, and how your body should work, is the most valuable way for you to sustain musculoskeletal health and improve your body’s performance.