Updated: Jul 14
You probably think of an upright torso without a hunched shoulder as a "correct posture" while "posture correction" refers to a much more complicated concept.
Divide your body into left and right, front and back, arms, legs, and head. Guess how many muscles you have in these different areas. We have around 700 muscles in our bodies out of which 300 are way more important. What makes these 300 muscles more important is how closely they are connected. This connection via special connective tissues makes their functions dependent on each other to a great extent. Their connections have made scientists assign the term "chain" to the different areas of the body such as "front chain" or " back chain". To be able to sit, stand, walk, run, play, work and even breathe, a number of these muscles need to work together. A problem with any of them would eventually cause more problems in the close or far area. Someone might develop the pain on the right hip after suffering a lower back pain for a while on his/her left side. A flat foot can cause the weakness of some ankle muscles which in return may cause a knee problem after some time. There are many examples of how an issue in one area can result in more significant problems in other parts of the body.
As we age and because of physiological changes in our bodies, the balance between the strength, flexibility, and mobility of different structures diminishes. Our wrong postures during work, watching TV or driving can speed up this process and we may develop postural imbalances even in our 20's or 30's. The main cause of many muscles and joists related pains in our bodies are these types of imbalances. Some of the imbalances might be visible to you if you pay close attention to your posture when you stand in front of the mirror. One shoulder lower than the other one, rounded shoulders and forward neck might be some of them which you can see. Many other imbalances are not detectable for people who don't have the knowledge of anatomy and assessment. Also, to Identify some of them, the observation is not enough and the assessor needs to perform functional tests. Only after identifying those imbalances, a corrective exercise plan can be developed. The type and intensity of exercises are based on different factors. Injuries, limitations should be considered while imbalanced structures should be prioritized. This process needs a lot of knowledge and experience to avoid further complications and imbalances. During many years working as a personal trainer and a therapist, I've seen many trainers who don't consider correcting the posture as they start working with their clients. Teaching a beginner level client on how to do a deadlift during the first month of training when there are significant limitations on the spine, hip, knee and ankle joints can only bring further injuries to the client.
To prevent muscles and joints pains, the postural imbalances should be fixed. The younger age you start this process, you'll face fewer challenges. Remember that postural correction is an ongoing process and you need to include all related movements and exercises in your workout regiment for your whole life. The key point is to select the intensity and the type of the movements based on your age and physical conditions in order to make them effective and safe.
Hooman Jamshidi Founder @Dur1 Health Registered massage therapist (RMT), Certified personal trainer, student Acupuncturist E: firstname.lastname@example.org C: 416.726.4652