What is a postural assessment?
Posture is the position in which someone holds their body when standing, sitting or lying down. Postural assessments look at your static posture to see if there are any imbalances that could cause or are causing pain and discomfort.
Our postural assessments also include manual tests that check how well your muscles and joints are working together and if there are any imbalances to be corrected.
The body functions at its best when it is in correct posture. When the body is in correct postural alignment, it moves and distributes weight evenly and appropriately allowing the muscles, joints and spine to work together to help us move effortlessly. If something is out of alignment, then injury and pain can occur.
We investigate how your body is moving and functioning. We look for abnormalities and compensations that may have occurred, and we aim to discover and treat the underlying causes.
This type of assessment is normally carried out when there is a recurring or overuse injury to the lower limbs including;
- shin splints
- Achilles tendinopathy (pain, stiffness, and swelling of the Achilles tendon)
- patella-femoral pain (knee pain)
- plantar fasciitis (foot pain)
How it works
During an assessment our therapists look at the overall alignment of the lower limbs both statically and dynamically. They will test ranges of movement and will carry out further tests to identify any areas of weakness and stiffness.
For example, if a client has an injury on the left side of the body, an assessment will show if his or her walk has been altered. We will see how compensation patterns from one side to the other have formed and will give a full report on how to remedy these issues.
By assessing movement and posture we are able to evaluate and address the corrections needed through simple lifestyle changes, stretching and strengthening exercises. Treatment plans are bespoke and will vary depending on the results of the assessment. Our therapists will suggest treatments and/or exercises for you based on the findings during the session. These will be discussed thoroughly with you.
Benefits of postural and biomechanical assessments
Benefits may include:
- muscle lengthening and increased flexibility
- keeping bones and joints in the correct postural alignment (to support the muscles)
- a decrease the amount of infrequent wearing of joint surfaces (too much of this could result in arthritis)
- preventing the spine from becoming locked into an irregular position
- preventing strain and overuse of muscles
- preventing backache and other muscular pain
- improving proprioception/balance and weight transference
- improving core stability and muscle balance around the pelvis
Assessment may also help make appropriate footwear choices (for example, running shoes).
Who will benefit from a postural assessment?
Anyone can benefit from a postural assessment by learning how your body has adapted to life. We all build bad habits over time - even if we try not to. For example, through sitting at a desk all day, holding babies on your hip or not stretching before and after exercise, we all build weakness and alternations in our movements. An assessment will show these and give you an awareness of how to change them.
Those who have recurring pain or are under-performing will particularly benefit from having a postural assessment. Awareness is the first step to understanding and correcting any underlying issues.