If you suffer from back pain, you aren’t the only one. About 80% of American adults deal with lower back pain at some point in their lives according to researchers at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Poor posture is a contributing factor, so read more about how you can keep up with improving your posture.
The Importance of Good Posture
Before we talk about the benefits of a posture assessment, we will first briefly mention the importance of correct posture.
When you maintain good posture, your bones, ligaments, and muscles are comfortable and not over-stretched. Maintaining good posture has many health benefits including:
- Greater stability, which helps prevent falls and injuries
- Maintaining correct form when exercising, which translates to fewer injuries
- Preventing headaches & neck pain
Why is Postural Assessment Important?
When your body maintains proper posture, weight is distributed evenly and pain-free. Your body just performs at its best. If something in your body is out of alignment you’re more prone to pain and injuries.
When it comes to posture, you can’t fix what you aren’t aware of. Having a postural assessment can help uncover any postural deviations so they can be appropriately treated, thus helping you treat any chronic pain you’ve been suffering.
How Posture Assessment Works
When you have a posture assessment, therapists will look at your overall alignment. We may look at:
- Hips: Are they symmetrical? Are they in internal or external rotation?
- Head and neck position
- Knees: Are they hyperextended?
- Pelvis: Is it in the posterior or anterior position?
- Shoulders: Are they symmetrical? Are they internally rotated?
- Spine: is scoliosis present?
We will also test your range of movement and perform other tests to see if you are making any compensations, or have areas that are stiff or weak.
For example, if a patient has suffered an injury on their left ankle, a postural assessment will reveal their walk has been altered to compensate for any discomfort.
How Can I Check My Posture?
You can perform a simple posture assessment in the comfort of your home with the help of a full-length mirror. Stand against a wall and envision an imaginary straight line running from the center of your body, from your head to the floor. Then ask yourself these questions.
- Are your shoulders level?
- Are your knees pointing straight out or in different directions
- Is your body weight evenly balanced, or are you putting more weight on one side?
- Is your head centered over your breastbone?
- How much space is between your back and the wall?
- Is one side of your waist sitting higher than the other?
- Stand on one leg; did you wobble to one side?
Continually performing these self-assessments will help your body heal and perform optimally. You have to teach your body how to position itself.
Work with Physical Therapists to Improve Your Posture
The body remembers bad form. If you need help improving your posture a physical therapist can help. The physical therapists at New Heights offer a variety of rehabilitation and treatments and they will also help you improve your posture. Contact New Heights today, we have two convenient locations to help with your physical needs.