According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Skin Disease, approximately one-fourth of U.S. adults experience at least 1 day of back pain in a three month period. One of the risk factors for back pain is weak back and abdominal muscles caused by poor posture.
Good posture enables us to maintain positions (sitting, standing, walking, and lying) that put the least strain on our bodies, keeping bones and joints in alignment so that muscles are used correctly, reduce abnormal wearing of the joints, and reducing joint pain and risk for degenerative arthritis. Maintaining good posture also puts less stress on ligaments reducing the likelihood for injury and helps prevent muscle strain and overuse disorders.
On the other hand, poor posture puts a strain on muscles and joints leading to poor circulation; chronic fatigue; back, neck, and shoulder pain; and more. Poor posture can cause misalignment in your body resulting in pain and limited range of motion.
There are several things you can do to improve your posture including exercises, stretching, and being more mindful of how you hold your body while sitting, standing, walking, and lying.
In order to assess your posture consider seeing your massage therapist for a structural assessment (also known as postural analysis). Structural assessment evaluates the body’s current position, through visual examination, in order to create a corrective action plan (structural rebalancing). Structural assessment along with massage therapy (soft tissue manipulation) can treat symptoms and their root causes.
During a structural assessment session you will be asked to wear running shorts and tank tops or sports bras for women and stand in front of a lined grid. You will start facing the therapist and then turned to the side. Your therapist will take pictures of you standing in front of the grid in order to assess imbalances from side to side and front to back. Upon completion of the assessment your therapist will discuss their findings and will discuss options for an ongoing massage treatment plan.
Structural analysis can be booked on its own or as part of a treatment package.