Many injuries occur due to poor posture – incorrect alignment of joints during puts greater shear force on muscles, ligaments and tendons – which greatly increasing the risk of injury. Poor posture is caused by overuse of certain muscle groups and lack of use by opposing muscle groups. Often work environments contribute to our posture; sitting at a desk for 8 hours, being on your feet all day or where high heels all have major impact on posture.
So what can we do to improve our posture?
There are many ways you can improve your posture; one of the best ways to stretch your tight muscles. Some people find stretching boring, but stretching tight muscles helps to lengthen and relax them – as well as improving blood flow and uptake of oxygen. Stretching works even better when it is done in conjunction with strengthen the opposing muscles that are weak; this improves joint function, stability and balance. We call this the ‘stretch and strengthen model. ‘
Pilates is another great way to improve fantastic way to improve posture by stretching and strengthen our muscles. Pilates also teaches you to properly integrate breathing patterns into the movement patterns. Pilates focuses on smaller movement patterns and high repetitions; predominately working the body’s core and stabiliser muscles. Pilates has become extremely popular, with many specialised Pilates Studios run by Physiotherapists and also classes found in most gyms.
Some Personal Trainers specialise in corrective exercise – using the stretch and strengthen model with their clients. A well designed corrective exercise program addresses muscle imbalances, which in turn improves posture, mobility, joint function as well as core stability and strength. This then allows the integration of functional movements such as; squatting, lunging, pushing, pulling etc. This method focuses on giving you the exerciser – what your body needs to give you the results you want.
Yoga may also be something you decide to try – some of the poses can be challenging and if you have never tried it before can be a great workout. A good massage therapist can also help – massaging out all of the knots and trigger points will loosen off those tight sore muscles and connective tissues.
Don’t let old injuries and or poor posture hold you back in longer; you have a range of options. It is time to go and book yourself in for a service – your body will thank you for it.