What is posture?
Posture is lots of muscles working together to hold you upright. Everyone knows that muscles “do” movement but the truth is that mostly they “do” posture with no obvious movement. The work starts as soon as you get up in the morning and continues until you climb into bed every single day of your life! For instance your head weighs 4.5-5kg and rests on the bones in your neck but it is muscles around your neck and shoulders that hold it up and stop it sagging forward. Postural muscles are the unsung heroes of the body because they do an essential job day in and day out without us being aware of them.
Ask yourself this question. “What percentage of my day is spent sitting?” The answer will probably be “a lot.”
Poor posture can literally be a pain in the neck shoulders or back. It happens slowly so that by middle age or sooner most people have less than ideal posture. None of this is inevitable! Sitting whether at work, commuting, watching T.V., playing computer games or using mobile devices has become the dominant posture for most people. In reality most people also sit badly or “slump” which stresses the back, neck and shoulders causing a pain and stiffness cycle which is hard to shift. Cosmetic changes include hunched shoulders and poking chin.
What has this to do with sport?
All activities and sport are done on a background of posture whether that is good or bad. If you spend most of your day sitting you are likely to have stiffness around your neck, shoulders and upper back. You may also have lower back stiffness and underperforming gluteal muscles (buttocks). Doing sport on a background of poor posture is inefficient and will eventually lead to pain and “overuse injuries” (injuries with no obvious cause) as some areas overwork to compensate for underworking areas. Postural assessment will identify these problems and help you to correct them so that you reduce or eliminate your risk of these types of injuries.
What is postural assessment?
- This is a detailed analysis of how all your body segments relate to each other in different postures.
- Your sitting posture will be analysed and corrected so that you can easily maintain it.
- You will be given a tailored exercise programme to address the issues identified. Exercises will focus on recruiting the postural components of muscle activity and integrating these into functional patterns relevant to your sport and/or activities.
- You will gain knowledge about how your body works and how to maintain good function into the future.