The Dreaded Topic of Posture

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"Take regular breaks from you desk"

"Avoid straining your neck whilst on the pc"

"Make sure your chair has decent lower back support"

Sounding familiar?

I know these are phrases I used day in, day out whilst treating patients as a physiotherapist. At least 80% of the patients I saw had posture related pain and dysfunctions (which could have been prevented or alternatively, self managed pretty well).

Our deep stabilising muscles are the ones that sit closest to our joints and are there to keep us upright and help our skeletal system to be supported and move smoothly throughout daily function. They are the muscles to switch on as you initiate a movement before the larger muscle groups kick in. If these muscles are weak or have been inhibited due to a previous injury then your global muscles (hamstrings, quads, abs, lats, upper traps etc) will have to work harder to support you. These muscles are large, powerful muscles which are designed to switch on and off throughout a movement, not to be switched on for long periods of time, so they tire easily if working as a stabiliser. Over a short period of time these muscles can develop trigger points (sections of a muscle that become fatigued and tight, creating reduced blood flow to the specific area) which can be very painful and refer pain to other areas of the body.

Our muscles over time will learn to adapt to support our joints. If you develop overactive global muscles and weak stabilisers you land up with a dysfunction and in turn this can impact on the surrounding joints as your joints need the muscles to have mobility, as well as stability, to function smoothly. If your joints don’t have mobility to move this usually results in pain and discomfort. In particular, many cases of lower back pain and neck pain can be avoided if care is taken to ensure that your global muscles remain mobile and your stability muscles strong.

There are some great tools available in my shop to help you release muscle tension on a daily basis, some are small enough to even slip into your handbag for the ladies.