Postural imbalance is the result of parts of the body are not aligning correctly. This can produce strain which causes pain or discomfort. Underlying causes may be the formation of bad habit, abnormal body development or poor blood circulation. Addressing your postural imbalance can allieviate these.
Causes of postural imbalance
Postural problems are typically related to either sitting or standing in an awkward position, an irregular walking pattern, abnormal physical development or illness.
Posture imbalance puts strain on the body structure i.e. bones, ligaments, tendons etc. Slouching while walking and standing is a frequent cause of postural problems as the body is unnaturally pushed forwards. Sitting in an awkward position places unnecessary stress on the back and neck.
Stress on the body’s structure can result in strains and sprains of the soft tissue or fractures of the bone. Injury can also occur in other areas of the body away from the region which is not correctly aligned. For example, foot problems can result in knee pain and lower back problems.
Some postural problems are as a result of a medical condition. Rounded shoulders is a common condition that is caused by a spinal abnormality. The curvature of the spine causes the shoulders to be pushed forwards creating a hunched posture. Knock knees and bow legs can have a negative impact on posture as the majority of the body’s weight is placed on the instep or outstep of the foot.
Poor imbalance can also be caused by degenerative diseases particularly as the body ages.
Treating your postural imbalance
Generally, postural problems can be easily corrected and any pain or discomfort is temporary. However some chronic ailments cannot be easily treated or may take longer to correct than a short-term problem.
For many people, postural problems can be treated by simple postural corrections to the way you sit and walk. A physiotherapist can help as they specialise in postural correction of the body’s structure.
Postural problems can be treated with physiotherapy such as heat, massage, exercises, and manipulation. First the pain must be reduced. Heat can be used to ease sore muscles that have been holding the body in unnatural positions..
Next, postural problems can be treated by an attempt to reverse the affect the awkward positions have had on the muscles. This can be done by massage. The muscles that are tightened because of poor carriage of the body can be worked until they are less tender.
Some muscles may have contracted, or shortened, due to postural problems. Other muscles which oppose them might have lengthened and weakened. It is necessary to stretch the shortened muscles before trying to strengthen, or tighten, the longer muscles. Physiotherapy exercises have been designed for just this purpose.
Physiotherapy techniques put the body back into alignment after postural problems occur. Manipulations help the patient regain full range of motion. Physiotherapists can also work on the muscles to ease tension.
Postural problems are common for people of all ages. With the right physiotherapy, these patients will be able to sit and stand comfortably again.
If you have a postural imbalance that is causing you problems then contact us and make an appointment.