What Is A Postural Assessment?
Posted on 10th March 2023 at 15:16
The body functions at its best when it is in the 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.
Why is posture important?
Good posture is important for maintaining a healthy body and reducing the risk of pain and injury.
Here are some key things to know about posture:
What is good posture? Good posture involves maintaining the natural curves of the spine in a balanced and aligned position. This includes keeping the head, shoulders, and hips in line, and avoiding slouching or leaning forward.
Benefits of good posture: Good posture can help reduce the risk of pain and injury, improve breathing and digestion, boost confidence and self-esteem, and improve overall physical and mental well-being.
Risks of poor posture: Poor posture can lead to muscle strain, joint pain, and other health problems over time. It can also contribute to fatigue, reduced range of motion, and decreased quality of life.
Causes of poor posture: Poor posture can be caused by a variety of factors, including sedentary lifestyles, poor work ergonomics, muscle imbalances, and injury.
Improving posture: Improving posture requires a combination of strategies, including physical exercises to strengthen and stretch muscles, ergonomic adjustments to work environments, and mindfulness techniques to promote awareness of posture throughout the day.
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 any imbalances 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.
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;
Achilles tendinopathy (pain, stiffness, and swelling of the Achilles tendon)
patella-femoral pain (knee pain)
plantar fasciitis (foot pain)
How postural assessment 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 can 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 in 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 their 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 underperforming will particularly benefit from having a postural assessment. Awareness is the first step to understanding and correcting any underlying issues.
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