Upright or uptight?

Updated: Sep 16, 2019

One of the most frequent things we blog about here at The Reinge Clinic is posture; but let's put some bones (no pun intended) on that.

This week I had an extremely common occurrence whilst treating a client with all manner of neck pain, back pain, and headaches. I could see how far her posture was out so took a photo of it so she could see it too. Her immediate response, as an ex gymnast and a dancer was that it actually

looked pretty good to her.

Now, this is where I want to identify the difference between Upright and Tight and Upright and Right! (I just made that up and I think it sounds pretty good 😀) Yes she was indeed standing tall and to the casual observer you would say she had a superb posture....but, its about HOW we achieve that upright position that really matters. She was using all the wrong muscles to achieve that position.

Our muscles fall into two broad categories, stabilisers (which include all the postural muscles) and prime movers. Stabilisers are muscles that ensure your body and its joints stay in the correct alignment, whilst the prime movers create large movements. In this client's case (and in most of the clients we see) She was using the prime movers, muscles that are not designed to hold you upright, to do the job of weakened stabilisers and therefore effectively working a 'double shift'. Therefore, becoming become overworked, tight and painful.

So how can you tell , at home, if you are using the correct or incorrect muscles to stand? 🤔

Well try this: Ask somebody to take a picture on your phone or tablet of you standing side on.

Now put a ruler or some kind of straight line down your body. Your starting point should be the ear lobe, exactly where you would wear an ear ring or stud. The line from the earlobe should pass through the middle of your body, or more exactly: through the middle of the shoulder, just behind the elbow, through the middle of the pelvis, just behind the middle of the knee, through the bony lump (talus) on the side of your ankle and through the middle of the arch of the foot.

I can almost guarantee that in most people the line will fall through the front of the shoulder, in front of the elbow, though the middle of the pelvis! (you would fall over if it didn't 🤨) though the front of the knee and through the ball of the foot. This, then is wrong, it shows that you are using prime movers to do the job of the stabilisers, and the body can only keep that up for so long.

Why has this happened?......Well quite simply its a reflection of how we use (misuse) our bodies in modern life and here at The Reinge Clinic we specialise in teaching you how to correct that.

#neckpain #backpain #headaches #physiotherapy #physiotherapyassociates #physiotherapynearme #physiotherapyexercises #sportstherapy #sportstherapyandrehab #kenilworth #portishead #leamingtonspa #warwick #coventry #bristol

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