Good Posture


Health Changes That May Occur As A Result Of Postural Defects.


Poor posture doesn’t only effect the way we look, over time in can lead to ill health.

postureWe are said to have good posture when the head, neck, chest and abdomen are balanced vertically upon one another rather like a stack of building blocks, so that their weight is carried mainly by the bony framework, i.e. the skeleton, with a minimum of effort or strain on muscles and ligaments. The head should be centred over the pelvis and the shoulders should be approximately in the same line as the pelvis, not tilted or twisted.


Our posture is said to be poor if the head is carried in front of the body and the shoulders roll forwards causing the spine in the upper back to curve forwards more. This will flatten the chest. The low back spinal curve is increased and the abdomen below the umbilicus, the belly button, protrudes along with the pelvis tilting forwards.


Just a small change from normal balance will cause some degree of change in the soft tissues to compensate in order to keep the centre of gravity to be held over the centre of support to stop us from falling over.


Typical soft tissue changes that occur are the contraction and eventual shortening of some muscles while other muscles lose their tone and lengthen. Associated ligaments strain leading to low grade inflammation and eventually actual bony changes can take place. Changes will occur around blood vessels and nerve tissue and it is these changes that can have a marked effect on how the body can work.


Poor posture does not cause immediate problems but has the potential to be responsible for a lot of trouble later.


The soft tissue changes can cause pain, stiffness, limitation of muscles and restriction in the range joints can move. This in turn will decrease the flow of blood and lymph. Lymph is a liquid that is collected from the tissues of all parts of the body and returned to the blood via the lymphatic system. Lymph is a product of inflammation.


Chronic inflammation can result from the tissue changes of poor posture. When the lymph associated with this inflammation has difficulty returning to the blood the state of the tissue will deteriorate leading to fibrosis.


bad postureThe osteopathic profession is well aware of the importance of lymphatic flow and the value of manipulative treatment in promoting it.


Changes in posture will also affect the position in which are organs, viscera, are held. When the low back curve increase and the pelvis tips forward with poor posture the tissues that hold the viscera have a drag put on them which can squash the small nerves and blood vessels that travel in these tissues to the viscera.


In the chest cavity poor posture will alter how the diaphragm works leading to tension being put on structures in the chest and the vessels supplying those structures.


Good diaphragm movement is important for movement of blood in the abdomen and if this action is restricted congestion can occur. Congestion is a bad because toxic products that are being taken back from the tissues into the blood for elimination are left in the tissues for longer.


Osteopathic treatment will help blood flow are relieve congestion. Advice on how to improve the posture is taught. By trying to address poor posture as soon as you become aware of it you can prevent the more serious consequences of untreated postural problems in the future.


If you would like advice and treatment of your posture please contact us at Princes Avenue Osteopathic clinic.