Assessing and Correcting Posture with Physical Therapy
There are a few therapists holding the view there is no such thing as bad posture and it is not our job as therapists to help our clients improve it. My response to one such comment...
What a novel concept...no such thing as good or bad posture...it never occurred to me.. In my clinical practice it is rare I see a client with good/perfect posture...could almost count "good" ones on one hand. The rest of us "normal" specimens are dragging our carcasses through life hampered by some postural issue or another that results in less than ideal function and may cause pain or injury.
To start with most have tight chests restricting breath and medially rotating the humerus >>> slightly impinging the Supraspinatus & Longhead of Biceps
tendons making them vulnerable to injury/degradation, it also exaggerates kyphosis and contributes to Forward Head Carriage >>> blocking energetic flow up the backline of the neck >>> tight occipital region >>> headaches plus even more sinister long term effects according to TCM.
The affects of too much sitting and/or sleeping in foetal position on hips >>> tight hip flexors >>> bilateral forward hip rotation >>> excessive lordosis >>> lower back psin and a flow through affect on upper back and neck.
Almost all clients have Short Right Leg Syndrome to some degree. It is a dominant genetic trait in Homo Sapiens. which results in both hip rotation and pelvic tilt anomalies leading to mild scoliosis and all that goes with it plus energetic blocking down the backline of the lower limbs >>> tightness, thickening in the fascia >>> restriction, pain and/or injury through glute, hami, calf, achilles and/or plantar fascia.
It is never too late to do something about it. While the 90 year old with no hip rotation may not get those hips and legs to do more than swing back and forth propelling her to South Melbourne Market each market day...and will never sit cross legged again...but she is able to keep upright and look straight ahead by working at it. At one time she forgot her daily exercise routine for awhile and started going downhill fast...wondering why she could not see where she was going, why it was getting harder to push the shopping jeep until she resumed her exercises and slowly became erect again.
Yeah...the concept that there is no such thing as good or bad posture never occurred to me...there is a constant stream of problematic cases presenting in my clinical practice exhibiting classic poor postural characteristics that can be improved by treatment, stretching and strengthening. This is pretty clear cut to me.
If you want to start considering the philosophical, emotional and spiritual aspects of our work as therapists we can find all sorts of alternative meaning to what is clinical practice and life...just do not lose sight of the basics. There is such a thing as poor posture and clients are motivated to correct it because of pain or injury.