Sunday, 5 January 2014

POSTURE TYPES

On Tuesday 14th January I will be discussing postures and correct body alignment at Slice Fitness in Parsons Green (Please buy tickets here http://www.slicestudios.co.uk/#!events/c1jxl).  So, as a build up to it, I wanted to outline the different posture types with the help of my great friend Kate Smith from Bodhi Osteopathy.

Do you have aches and pains and wonder if your posture is the source of the problem? If yes, Kate Smith from Bodhi Osteopathy and I are here to help you work out your posture types and how you can achieve an ideal posture to stay from musculoskeletal problems.

The 4 main stereotypical posture alignments are Ideal Alignment, Kyphotic/Lordotic, Flat Back and Sway Back.




Kyphosis
In today’s world our bodies spend far too much time in environments that do not promote general well-being. Life can be very static and we often find ourselves spending long hours hunched over the computer or slumped in front of the TV. Kyphosis, or hunchback, is an unbalanced posture that can cause neck and back pain. The head is pushed forward; the upper back is rounded, increasing the flexion of the thoracic spine. Hip flexors, Quads and Gluteal muscles are also shortened and tightened.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your Kyphosis:

·       Stretch the chest muscles
·       Think about gently drawing your shoulders back and down
·       Work on strengthening the rhomboid muscles (muscle between the shoulder blades). To strengthen the rhomboids, you want to perform any exercise that involves squeezing the shoulder blades together
·       Stretch your hip flexors, Quads and Gluteal muscles.
·       Ensure that your ergonomic set up at home at work is correct.  (Further advice can be given by Kate to make sure you are achieving this)

Lordosis
Lordosis is a back posture that exaggerates the lumbar curve (lower back) and an anterior pelvic tilt, when the pelvis tips forward when resting on top of the femurs. This can lead to excess pressure on the spine, causing pain. In addition to this, slightly hyper extended knee joints, tight lower back muscles, weak hamstrings, tight hip flexors also occur. Obesity, and pregnancy can also contribute to causing Lordosis.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your lordosis:

  • Strengthen hamstrings, glutes and core muscles (see Chloe’s blog posts for exercises)
  • Stretch hip flexors and lower back (in flexion)
  • Think about slightly tucking the tail bone under when standing
  • Strengthening core muscles to strengthen the lower back (Pilates is a good method to achieve this)

Sway-back
Sway back is another name for Lordosis. The slight difference is that the pelvis is posterially tilted and the knee joints are hyper extended. The lower back is also flatter.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your sway-back:
  • Stretch the lower and upper back  into extension.
  • Think about sticking your tail bone out whist standing.
  • Stretch hip flexors, Gluteal muscles and Quads. 

Flat-back
Flat back posture is exactly how it sounds. The head is slightly held forward. The upper part of the Thoracic spine is flexed as the lower part is flexed. The hip and knee joints are also extended.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help correct your flat-back:
  •  Strengthen the hip flexors
  • Stretch hamstrings and calves.
  • Stretch the Thoracics and Lower back in extension.


Ideal Alignment
After all this information, I am sure you are wondering what exactly is the “ideal posture” and how is this achieved.
The green dot running vertically in the picture above is called the plumb line. Ideally, the plumb line should pass through the ear lobe and straight down.

Kate & Chloe’s everyday tips to help achieve this Ideal Alignment;

When standing, imagine a piece of string being pulled from the top of your head. Elongate your neck and slightly tuck your chin in. Shoulders should be down and relaxed with arms hanging naturally at the side of your body. Knees should be slightly “soft” with your tail bone slightly tucked under. If this feels unnatural/causes any pain or discomfort then please do not hesitate to contact us as this may be due to a number of anatomical problems which can be assessed and corrected.

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