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Your posture may be to blame

Your posture may be to blame

Your posture issues…. explained- well kinda

Did your mom ever tell you to “stand up straight”? To “stand tall” and be confident, to not slouch?

Posture is something we all possess but over time and with life perfect posture can seem unattainable.

You may notice as you get older you have more aches, pains and issues with getting injured randomly. Would you believe me if I told you part of it may be due to your posture? That maybe your mom was on to something all those years ago…

Why does posture matter?

Because it gives us a strong foundation to move and feel comfortable when muscles are working right.

For starters lets back it up and talk about the kinetic chain. Essentially our body is one giant kinetic chain. The best way to think of this is as   everything working together to handle pressures and imbalances when something is not working properly.

Start with the  spine being  the base of it and then we have things like our joints, bones and muscles attaching to it in different ways to help us move and stay upright.

Your spine is also broken down into 3 sections – Your lumbar (lower from the pelvis to right below ribs) – your thoracic (from mid back/bottom or ribs to the neck) – and your cervical spine (your neck inserting into the skull).

Lets break it down from  the bottom up:

Our feet may be our most important indicator to postural issues. Yes you read the right, your feet.

Image result for collapsed arches

I want you to stand as you normally do and look at your feet, do they turn in? Do you stand on the outside of them? Or do you have collapsed arches? Can you spread your toes?

Lets say you tend to stand on the inside of your feet, or they slightly turn in. I bet if you look at your knees they slightly turn in too. When your knees slightly turn in that tends to cause your femur (the big bone in the top of your leg) to be rotated inward slightly. When that is turned in then it can cause your hips to have pressure on them and overly tight and weak muscles in the hip itself which also affects the glutes as they work to move our leg from this joint. When this happens it can lead to anterior tilt of the pelvis which can lead to back pain. Having an anterior tilted pelvis can also potentially cause muscle weakness and tightness in your mid and upper back, your ribs to be shifted and your shoulders to be rounded forward causing weakness in the back and tightness in the chest. Add sitting all day to that or looking down at your phone and you can have an arch in your cervical spine which can cause tightness in your cervical flexors and extensors which can lead to headaches and tension in the jaw, etc.

So there you have it, an example of how aches and pains in your head/skull could potentially stem from your feet. Of course that is not always the case you can have other imbalances in other areas but it goes to show that something in the lower body or right side of the body can make aches and pains in the upper or left side.

How do you correct these things or prevent them from happening?

The best way to identify these imbalances is by simply looking at yourself in the mirror or having someone point out to you when you do things. Body awareness is major just like in workouts. Slowing down to think about how you carry your purse and if it can cause you to lean a certain way, if you tend to sleep on one side and cramped up how it could cause tightness on one side and then in turn making the other side weaker or the wrong muscles work to do every day movements.

After identifying these things it is time to work on correcting them, and the best way to start is with the FOUNDATION.

Check out my blog on this for more in detail but basically the approach should go like this.

  • Learn to breathe 360 style
    • this helps you really connect with your body and relax upper body tightness and get the diaphragm, core and pelvis in line and working together to get stronger support for your body and cardiovascular system.
  • Think of standing as if someone is pulling you from the crown of your head and do not allow your pelvis or back to bear down in any way on the lower body. Try to feel as light as you can which should help you not over arch or round any parts of your spine.
  • Foam roll and massage out any really tight spots you notice
    • If you tend to have neck pain, then chances are you have some knots in your upper back and shoulders. Use a lacrosse ball or foam roller (these are my favorites) and allow your body weight to sink into them to release.
    • Get a deep tissue massage or buy a tool like a hypervolt or pso-rite  to help you relax the really tight hard to reach areas.
  • Activate the right muscles
    • Take a step back from really intense workouts for a short time and instead focus on activation of the right muscles to help strengthen the weak areas causing or stemming from imbalances.
      • I like to start in one area and focus on it for a week or so, like hips and glutes – stretch the hips, roll the glutes and then activate them all around (max, medius and minimus along with releasing the piriformis).
      • Perform more slow thought out mind muscle connection type movements.

 

The biggest takeaway from this is for you to understand that imbalances are ALWAYS common within us, BUT the more aware we are of our body and how it is functioning during every day activities the more conscious we can be in attempting to correct how you go about things. That you can focus on standing taller and lighter and attacking the tightness and working on not stressing and holding it all in your upper body.

Seek out someone to help you, especially if you are someone who is active and has never thought to look at this stuff before. It can help prevent injury and really get you moving in the right direction so to speak. It may mean slowing down the workouts for a very short period but it will definitely pay off in the long run.

I am currently taking on a few new virtual clients if you need that help! Save 20% now with code changeup!

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