December 27, 2023
Posture reflects the ability of our body to be upright against the constant pull of gravity. Our ability to manage gravity is as fundamental to health as oxygen and water. With posture collapse, we can experience joint stiffness, pain, and degeneration; lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and poor bladder control; depression; poor confidence and poor memory, etc. The greater the posture collapse, the greater the risk for any or all of the aforementioned.
An exercise-based physiotherapy treatment plan starts with posture - analysis of alignment and the steps needed to correct alignment and control a painful joint in its neutral alignment. A posture rehab plan includes the evolution of exercise, from activation to flexibility, strengthening, and endurance, to achieve a functional goal(s). Although the goals may differ, posture rehab is synonymous with sports rehab and, functional rehab, etc, and it is the natural extension of a physiotherapy exercise program once joints are aligned and stable.
Within a physiotherapy context, so many of the injuries and pain complaints our clients present are complicated by underlying poor posture. And so very often, our clients have accepted their slump/poor posture as a factor of age or occupation, sometimes even genetics. This general trend is made much worse by the computer age we live in. When tech neck or forward head posture is more frequently seen than normal head position, it is hard to appreciate poor posture for its significant threat to good health.
Poor posture causes or complicates a significant number of injuries and pain conditions that we see. Most injuries not associated with apparent trauma have poor joint or spinal alignment. These injuries are often called repetitive strain injuries when the major joints are involved, and poor posture or posture collapse when the spine is involved. Examples of repetitive strain injuries include subacromial bursitis, supraspinatus, or biceps tendinitis of the shoulder area; tennis elbow; trochanteric bursitis of the hip; infrapatellar bursitis of the knee; and plantar fasciitis or Achilles tendintis of the foot. Carpal tunnel can relate to both the neck and the wrist. Spinal posture collapse conditions include slipped discs / herniated disc, spinal stenosis, sciatica, and some conditions newly named and associated with computer and hand-held digital devices. These include forward head posture, tech neck or text neck, digital dementia, sitting disease, and computer vision syndrome.
Particularly challenging are injuries sustained from trauma, like motor vehicle accidents. Poor alignment is clearly not a cause of the injury, but if present, it can delay or even prevent good recovery.
For most pain conditions with a postural component, posture analysis will identify alignment anomalies throughout the body, any of which may impact your pain presentation. Exercises that can correct these anomalies differ from general exercise in many ways, including care with starting position, low effort, mindfulness, and other strategies to target neuroplasticity. Alignment and posture are corrected before strength is addressed. A bonus for our clients is that posture exercises, well performed, are pain relieving and an important part of a pain management program.
Poor posture is a health and wellness drain that all contributors to its resolution are welcome! Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, and other Rehab specialists are the original contributors and cover exercise-based posture correction. Over the past decade or more, the field of ergonomics has provided insight and practical applications to assist with posture correction strategies, such as the sit-to-stand workstation. Many posture-facilitating gadgets and braces are on the market, but few have gained wide market appeal and success. Posture garments are in a class of their own and are proving to be a wonderful tool to help assuage the impact of poor posture.
We have experience with Alignmed EBA (evidence-based apparel) posture garments. We personally like how they feel and like how they fit into a larger rehab plan. Some clients describe the feeling experienced while wearing the garment as being akin to a light workout, even without exercise. The feeling that muscles are being worked is a sign that muscle sensors are being activated and their respective muscles are working. The benefit may be greater if it is worn during exercise because Neuroband technology supports and augments muscle work. The exercise part of a posture rehab treatment plan remains key to retaining and improving functional capacity, but posture garments are revolutionizing the rehab experience.
All the Alignmed EBA garments are easy to wear and offer great muscle support and activation of muscle positional sensors. This picture shows the Neuroband tension, which stimulates muscles whenever the garment is worn. The lady on the right is wearing a posture bra, which we think is particularly genius. Sizing accommodates a wide range of cup sizes, but more directions can be found here or by calling Alignmed directly at (866)987-5433.
Alignmed is a leading-edge, evidenced-based medical technology company focused on the impact of poor posture on health. This company provides its research-supported Neuroband Technology and Evidenced-Based Apparel (EBA) garments as the opportunity to extend the rehab sphere of influence. Non-exercise and all ‘down’ time can be used to good advantage in a physiotherapy treatment plan or a more collaborative posture rehab program. Imagine using a computer, leisure, and sleep time productively and having it count towards rehab! It’s possible with Alignmed.
Poor posture is an epidemic today and threatens health, wellness, and graceful aging! Take action…
Written by Estelle Barry, a senior physiotherapist at Avalon Laser Health Physiotherapy and Wellness in St John’s, NL. She has a passion for all things posture and for incorporating posture into physiotherapy and rehab treatment programs. She continually seeks ways to improve the posture rehab experience.
See the full article here: https://avalonlaserhealth.ca/services/posture-program.php
For more information, visit: https://avalonlaserhealth.ca/
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