Misconceptions and Truths about Posture. Part II

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Posture alignment and muscle imbalances

Are we born with bad posture?

With a very few exceptions, we are NOT born with bad posture. There is only a tiny percent of population that is born with serious musculoskeletal disorders due to genetic factors.  The majority of people are born with everything needed to develop and maintain a perfect alignment.

What runs in the family may be not a hunched posture. It is what happens to their postural alignment when a person does not have enough of adequate and varied movement in his or her life.

Muscle imbalances lead to compromised posture

Bones and joints position is determined by the attached muscles length and tension.
Compromising the coordination of skeletal muscles will change a position of the connected bones.
It will in turn compromise the alignment of loading joints, spine, and pelvis:

  • If spine is affected a person may develop a hunched kyphotic posture.
  • If a pelvis is affected, a person may perceive that one of legs is shorter than another. When in fact, if their thigh and low leg bones were measured, they would be the same. The appearance of a shorter leg is created by a compromised pelvic position. The pelvis may be rotated or one side is pulled higher than another.
  • If femurs (thigh bones) are rotated externally, a person will be walking with feet pointing outward like a duck.

The list can go on and on. The bottom line is that bones were moved out of alignment by muscle imbalances.

How do we develop muscle imbalances?

Good question. The major culprit is the lack of varied motion.  The motion that naturally reinforces our natural strength and flexibility in everything we do.

The additional factors of muscle imbalances could be:

  • Traumas, injuries and surgeries.
  • Work environment.
  • Habitual unhealthy body positioning:
    • slouching in the chair,
    • trying to tuck the belly or buttocks in,
    • seating sideways at the desk, or
    • carrying a heavy purse always on the left or right shoulder.
  • Improper physical training as:
    • too much of the same physical routine. For example, the only exercise a person does is using an elliptical machine, or golfing, or tennis;
    • working out sporadically – “weekend warriors”.

We all know that millions people suffer from chronic muscle tension and musculoskeletal pain. While many of these millions never exercise, many of them are regular gym-goers, obsessed with fitness and muscle building.

Unfortunately, going to a gym does not equate with fitness. Quite often exercise creates and reinforces incorrect patterns of movement. These patterns lead to postural misalignment and pain. Building just the muscle strength does not mean having a healthy, relaxed, and aligned body.

It is not what we do for exercise but how we do it. Plus the variety of functional movement that provides the correct stimulus for muscles responsible for structural support of our skeleton.

The question is: what can we do to improve our postural alignment? How can we stay active and wheel-chair free until we die? Stay tuned for the next post.

Be Upright. Be Happy. Live Pain Free.

Click here to learn more about my Upright Posture Fitness Studio in Hudson, MA

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Natasha

Natasha

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