- Dr. Liz Homan
I was watching some television the other night and I could not get over one of the main characters posture… I mean it was horrendous… the anterior head translation and the rounded shoulders… it was so bad that Kyle even said something…
So I thought I would take the opportunity to share with you all why posture matters!
First, posture is defined as the position of the body or the position of several parts of the body with respect to each other for a particular purpose. It is the proper alignment of the parts of the body in relation to the spine and the proper use of the body at all times. It is not just a matter of sitting or standing up straight.
And when I see someone that has visible signs of posture misalignments, this lets me know that there is most likely improper mobility of the joints in the spine, or subluxations. This is why I do a postural evaluation as part of my new patient intake.
For older kids and adults, I use an app that takes a picture of the patient and analyzes any postural deviations. This allows us to very specifically track changes and to see the progress that we are making.
When I see a newborn/infant for their initial evaluation, I do assess their posture, but it looks a little different than what you may think. I look at their body for signs of any deviations. This included looking at their leg creases (fat rolls) to see if they are symmetrical in location and depth. I also check their gluteal crease to make sure that it is not deviated to one side or the other as it should go straight up the spine. An infant’s head position can be very telling as well. If it is always rotated or tilted to one side, that can be a sign of a subluxation in their upper neck and potentially leading to some discomfort for the little one.
In children that are weight bearing I am able to use their hip position and their shoulder height to tell me quite a bit about what is going on with their spine as well. If one shoulder is higher this can be a sign of a possible curve in the spine. If their hip/pelvic height is different that can be a sign of their pelvis being rotated. And as you remember from the Your Foundation post a few months ago, our pelvis is our foundation and that if your pelvis is compromised in any way it can result in many issues in growth, development and function of the body.
Once postural deviations are identified, it is advised that things be done to help reduce the extra stress on the body that it is experiencing by not being in proper alignment. If the deviation are not corrected it can compound and lead to bigger problems in the future and this is not what I want for any of my friends! For some people, these bigger problems could be pain and tension in the body but for others it could result in digestive disorders, menstrual irregularities in women or difficulty sleeping for others.
By evaluating posture, we are able to make sure that the care patients are provided is doing more than just making them feel better… it is making their body function better as well, which is my main goal for all patients!
So, if you are interested in having your posture evaluated, I would love to see you in the office to do a postural evaluation to see what specifically is going on with your spine!