Postural Issues

Postural issues include any conditions that result from poor posture, including back and neck pain. A person’s posture—or body position when sitting, standing, walking, or performing other activities or exercises—has a great impact on muscle balance and efficiency. For that reason, focusing on good posture can aid in the prevention of back and neck problems. The ideal spinal position includes three slight curves—cervical, thoracic, and lumbar—that work together to create balance so that no one muscle group becomes overworked. With a little attention, achieving good posture is relatively simple. Many physical therapists recommend imagining being suspended by a thread attached to the top of the head. Common postural issues include slouching while standing (i.e., standing with the head dropped down, shoulders rounded forward, and stomach and rear protruding); slouching while sitting (i.e., sitting in a car or at a desk with the head protruding forward and the shoulders tense); and standing with one leg bend while tipping the pelvis to one side. All of these positions lead to muscle imbalance and fatigue, which lead to pain. Physical therapy can be highly effective in treatment of postural issues, as physical therapists are skilled in identifying problem points and developing specific exercises and stretches to correct deficiencies.