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Each person has a characteristic way of bearing his or her body which is made up of a relative placement of all body segments. Posture is partially genetic and inherited but our lifestyle plays a major part in improving or deteriorating body function and possible pain patterns. Posture is simultaneously static and dynamic.
The positions that we maintain for long periods of time while working, doing sport, sleeping or practicing hobbies will affect posture. Sitting hunched at a computer, cycling for hours, painting finishing touches to a masterpiece or hitting golf balls at a driving range. This may bring about structural changes in the body where certain muscle groups become over- or underdeveloped, overstretched or shortened. This may lead to an imbalance which makes it difficult to maintain a good posture.
Poor or abnormal posture may decrease joint integrity or cause repetitive strains. If left unattended, these aches and pains can turn in to chronic pain and permanent damage to joints which may lead to conditions like arthritis.
When doing a postural analysis, a physiotherapist will highlight acquired changes and abnormalities that have occurred in muscle length and strength and assess irregularities that a patient may have been born with for example leg length discreapncies or scoliosis.
A strategy can be put in place to manually treat changes by using various physiotherapy techniques, designing of a strengthening and stretching schedule as home based exercise plan or referral to appropriate professional. The sooner one is made aware of correcting posture, the better the chances are of avoiding permanent damage or chronic pain.