Take A Posture Snapshot!
Posted on June 8th, 2012 & filed in Chiropractic, Posture
POSTURE CONSCIOUSNESS | COME TAKE A POSTURE SNAPSHOT!
A chiropractor is a posture expert. Treatment of bio-mechanical problems, improving and enhancing athletic performance, active living and aging well, has been the goal of chiropractic wellness practice of Dr. Petrusia Kotlar.
“Posture is an exercise, a practice of body awareness and consciousness” is what I tell my patients. “It is not necessarily a natural gift that you happen to be born with. You have to participate and practice good muscle balancing methods and stretch as much as you can and as long as it feels good.”
We live in a “seated” society, which trains our bodies to be flexed at the hip with the torso bent at 90 degrees on the thighs. The result is an adaptively short hip flexor muscle and hip extensors that are adaptively long. In other words, our habit of sitting most of the day is throwing our spinal alignment and musculoskeletal balance into havoc.
Taking a quick look at the anatomy will help you understand the reason for back pain that might extend to the front of the thigh or hip. The primary hip flexor, the PSOAS, originates on the anterior lumbar vertebral bodies and discs of T12-L4. That means it is a deep muscle that attaches to the spine on one end and then crosses over the hip and inserts onto the femur’s lesser trochanter or the front of the thigh bone in layman’s terms. Other hip flexors namely, the iliacus and the rectus femoris, are also involved in this back/hip adaptive muscle limitation. The flexed hip mechanics of sitting approximates the spine and the thigh, and so over time the psoas tends to adaptively shorten.
Upper body adaptive postures from excessive sitting also correlate with mechanical issues from neck and arm pain to headaches. When people are keyboarding or texting, their hands pronate and their shoulders are internally rotated, which shortens the muscles and the fascia (connective tissue) on the front of the chest. At the same time the opposite muscles of the posterior torso or upper back, namely trapezius, rhomboid, serratus posterior superior, tend to lengthen, rolling the shoulder girdle forward giving one a slouched appearance.
So, here I have presented the problems that occur in todays’ media saturated world where our thumbs are doomed to suffer from the next “overuse syndrome” and sitting long hours are the culprit of many pain syndromes.
Here are solutions:
Take a snapshot. Or have someone take one of you standing sideways and from the back. Are your shoulders level? Hips level? Do you have a chin that juts forward. Are you slouching all the time because you are uncomfortable? Do you have back pain or hip pain? Consider a visit to a POSTURE EXPERT!
I have taken many exercise classes over the years and have experienced what the state of the art means and changes over time. Pilates, for example, have added such programs such as Core Align, Red Cables, Cardiolates, Yogalates as tools to keep the clients motivated and active. Yet I have found that many classes stress core building which in turn, tends to strain the hip flexors since they are the stabilizing muscle group. So I devised my own hip flexor/lower back stretch that I have been using with my patients.
HIP FLEXOR (PSOAS, ILIACUS, RECTUS FEMORIS ) STRETCH
1. Lie on your back with knees bent and together and feet apart.
2. Lower one knee inward so that inner thigh touches the floor. This will rotate the thigh inwards and you will feel the stretch in the outer hip and the lower back.
3. To add more weight/stretch place opposite heel onto bent knee for a maximum range of motion in the hip and back. Try not to arch your back. Instead, quietly relax and lengthen the muscles.
See article in ACAnews, official publication of the American Chiropractic Association, May 2012 Annual Posture Pictures by Steven Weiniger, DC