• Sebastian Asselbergs, PT

Posture and pain?

Have you been told your posture is "bad"? Have you been told to strengthen certain muscles to "improve your posture" to manage your pain?

Well, as always, we refer to research studies and science to inform us about assumptions like that.

And it is painfully clear that there is NO "ideal" posture. People have a wide range of individual postures, and none of them is a predictor of pain. A large number of studies shows that it is not so much the posture, but the holding - not moving - is a predictor of pain. In other words, slouching, standing ramrod straight, sitting upright, leaning forward, having a hollow back or a mild scoliosis, a shoulder that is lower than the other, a head forward position ALL can cause discomfort and pain - but ONLY if you hold the position too long, or have too much load in one position! The gist of the evidence tells us that we need to move much more; it keeps the joints, the nerve sensors and the circulation in the tissues happy.

How did we end up focusing so much on ideal posture? We can thank the cultural origins of the "proper" posture: in Victorian times, an upright and quiet posture showed a high societal status. That "proper posture" attitude is STILL pervasive in our culture and medical thinking. And it is wrong. Move, friends, move.

It is by far the best thing to do for your body and wellbeing. Our bodies have evolved for movement - do not deprive it of that. Variable, frequent and easy movement - a recipe for happy tissues and person.

#pain, #posture, #physiotherapy, #ergonomics, @allandalephysiotherapy.com.

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