Could your posture be the cause of your pain?
When it comes to chronic pain and posture (and what causes chronic pain), it can be thought of in the same way as that of the chicken and the egg. Does the prolonged posture lead to chronic pain, or is the posture simply a by-product of the pain? This is where a physiotherapist can come in and help assess the underlying issues leading to chronic pain, and posture is a great place to start!
Posture for a very long time was thought of as this one size fits all approach with either a correct or incorrect posture. As we are now learning, posture should be considered as part of a continuum with certain ranges more ideal than others rather than an extremely individual position being good. This reflects the body’s joints have an ideal range of motion and provided we are not on the extremes of the continuum, we can consider it a safe or ideal position.
The idea of only having one specific type of posture is quite naïve based on the extreme amount of variability there is in humans. With so much DNA coding required during development, it makes sense that everyone has different expressions of height, arm length, leg length and even within the individual, it’s not uncommon to have asymmetrical body parts (one foot slightly shorter than the other). So it makes sense that these differences in body parts are reflected in slightly different postures.
The final piece of the puzzle when understanding posture is the idea that ‘the best posture is your next posture’. Although we have established that each individual will have an ideal range of posture, it certainly doesn’t mean once you find that position, you don’t change. In fact, it’s the opposite. Frequently changing your posture in slight ways is a great method to avoid fatiguing muscles and overloading certain structures. This could be as simple as going from a sitting to a standing position at work and breaking up those long bouts of sitting!
If you would like to learn more about posture and what causes chronic pain, or would like to have your own posture assessed, book an appointment to see one of our physiotherapists here in Newmarket. With a wealth of knowledge and a friendly smile, we will happily get you back on track.