As the twig is bent, so grows the tree.
Postural change is very common. Some changes matter more than others, but being aware of your posture and making an effort to keep yours upright and balanced has a positive impact on your health.
Your posture – and the movement patterns that accompany it – says a lot about the way your body is adapting to the various stresses and strains of everyday living.
So how are you stacking up? And if you take a moment to look at the people around you what do you notice in them?
You don’t need to be an expert to pick up on some of the most obvious changes that take place in people, and if you do this often enough chances are that you will start to notice the types of postural change that we see in people all the time.
For example, perhaps you’ll notice that some people have a tendency to carry their head in a way that seems to protrude somewhat in front of the rest of their body. It’s called anterior head carriage, and can be a common cause of neck ache and headaches.
Or maybe you’ll notice that many people seem slouched, stooped or hunched over throughout their upper back – long hours sitting or hunched over computers contribute to this, and the effects of this over time are many and varied.
Or maybe you’ll start to pick up on other more subtle changes such as one shoulder being higher than the other, the head tending to tilt off to one side a bit, or one hip seeming to be higher than the other.
The fact is that postural change is very common. Some types of change matter more than others, but becoming more aware of your posture and doing what you can to keep yours upright, balanced and healthy can make a big difference to your health, including the way you move, look, feel, breathe, and digest your food. And it all starts with just taking a look.
Postural screenings are an intrinsic part of the assessment procedure we carry out with each person we see in our practice, and they are a popular feature of our practice because they give people a better understanding of the context and significance (if any) of any postural change a person may be noticing with their body.
Sometimes the changes we pick up on during these screenings can be part of the underlying cause of pain or other symptoms a person my be experiencing at that particular time. On other occasions the postural changes we might identify can suggest that problems may be brewing for the future. But there are also many occasions where the changes we see are totally innocent and not something to be concerned about.
Either way, our postural screenings help people to develop a better understanding of the role their posture plays in influencing their health, helps them to understand the context of any change that may be taking place, and offers reassurance to those whose bodies are developing normally.