Postural dysfunction happens when unhealthy postures are practiced and maintained for prolonged periods. This can occur in any sitting, standing, or lying down position and is a major factor in musculoskeletal injuries. Injuries related to poor posture are normally caused by overuse that builds up over time. When the body starts to go out of alignment, the muscles must work harder to compensate, which further strains the body. This stress can lead to soft tissue injury and excess joint wear and tear. These injuries start as minor aches and pains in the short term. However, if left untreated, they can lead to chronic conditions. Injury Medical Chiropractic and Functional Medicine Clinic can rehabilitate the body to optimal function and provide postural training.
Posture is how the skeleton and muscles hold the body in a healthy position while standing or sitting, affecting breathing, muscle growth, and mobility. Practicing healthy posture means:
- The bones are properly aligned.
- The muscles, joints, and ligaments function correctly.
- The organs, like the stomach, kidneys, and GI tract, are in the right position and can work efficiently.
- The nervous system can operate at its full potential.
- This allows the body to have:
- More energy.
- More room for the lungs to expand.
- Experience less stress.
- Alleviate muscle fatigue.
- Achieve physical fitness.
Unhealthy body positioning causes imbalances in muscle strength that pull the body out of alignment. This leads to muscles becoming tight/shortened and others becoming weak/lengthened, and it can also cause internal organ problems. For example, individuals that slump excessively cause the abdomen to compress, crowding the stomach and intestines, which leads to digestive issues. Postural dysfunction can be caused by the following:
- Stress and strain from day-to-day activities.
- Job responsibilities that involve sitting/standing for long periods and/or repetitive tasks like bending, lifting, reaching, twisting, etc.
- Unhealthy driving position.
- Non-supportive footwear.
- Joint stiffness usually of the neck, upper and lower back, and hips.
- Sedentary habits.
- Lack of physical activity and exercise.
- Muscle tightness.
- Muscle weakness.
- Weakened core stability.
- Inadequate or failed post-surgical recovery.
- Decreased blood circulation resulting in fatigue.
- Overuse Injuries.
- Breathing difficulties.
- Balance issues.
- Knee pain.
- Joint misalignment.
- Increased strain on the spine.
- Compression of discs and joints.
- Neck pain.
- Lower back pain.
- Less space for nerves to move due to compression.
- Nerve problems.
- Piriformis syndrome.
- Shoulder impingement.
Chiropractic treatment for postural dysfunction provides adjustments, massage and decompression therapy, targeted stretching and exercises, retraining movement patterns, and nutritional and health coaching. Personalized treatment plans can include the following:
- Assessment and diagnosis of postural habits.
- Soft tissue massage.
- Joint mobilization.
- Spinal mobilization.
- Biomechanical correction
- Postural Taping.
- Postural bracing.
- Postural re-education and retraining.
- The use of lumbar support for sitting.
- Activity modification recommendations.
- Recommendations regarding ergonomic workstations.
- Targeted stretches and exercises to maintain posture correction.
Korakakis, Vasileios, et al. “Physiotherapist perceptions of optimal sitting and standing posture.” Musculoskeletal science & practice vol. 39 (2019): 24-31. doi:10.1016/j.msksp.2018.11.004
Lee, Yongwoo, and Ki Bum Jung. “Effect of Physiotherapy to Correct Rounded Shoulder Posture in 30 Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Korea Using a Telerehabilitation Exercise Program to Improve Posture, Physical Function, and Reduced Pain, with Evaluation of Patient Satisfaction.” Medical science monitor: international medical journal of experimental and clinical research vol. 28 e938926. 27 Dec. 2022, doi:10.12659/MSM.938926
Shih, Hsu-Sheng, et al. “Effects of Kinesio taping and exercise on forward head posture.” Journal of back and musculoskeletal rehabilitation vol. 30,4 (2017): 725-733. doi:10.3233/BMR-150346
Snodgrass, Suzanne J et al. “Relationship between Posture and Non-Contact Lower Limb Injury in Young Male Amateur Football Players: A Prospective Cohort Study.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 18,12 6424. 14 Jun. 2021, doi:10.3390/ijerph18126424
Zhao, Mingming, et al. “Driver posture monitoring in highly automated vehicles using pressure measurement.” Traffic injury prevention vol. 22,4 (2021): 278-283. doi:10.1080/15389588.2021.1892087
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