At Back to Function we have somewhat of an obsession with posture. Whether you’re standing, sitting or walking, your postural habits control the load on your body’s joints. Abnormal or less than ideal posture can overload certain joints of your body, causing pain and breakdown. An unfortunate example we see of this is the right hip dominant individual that has hip joint degeneration that eventually leads to the need for a total hip replacement. Another example is the knee that degenerates abnormally on one side of the joint causing bone-on-bone knee pain and can also eventually lead to knee surgery or total knee replacement. If we can intervene in these abnormal joint overloads early enough, we can reverse the damage to the joint(s) and restore normal posture and function. Here are some picture examples of postures that we commonly see at BTF and some of the fixes that we will use.
When you look at yourself in the mirror:
Do your shoulders look uneven?
Does one of your feet seem to flatten out more than the other?
Does it look like your hips are shifted to one side?
Do you have a leg you prefer to shift your body weight towards?
Does your jaw seem to deviate to one side?
When You Lie on Your Back:
Does one foot rotate out?
Do you feel uneven?
Does your ribcage stick out?
Does your ribcage stick out more on one side?
When You Squat:
Do 1 or both knees cave in?
Does it look like your knee caps are pointing towards each other?
Can you not squat all the way down?
Do you get hip or knee pain?
Standing Position Fixes
Shift weight on left leg with hip shifted backwards.
Lead with left hand and right leg.
Stand with right arm on right hip behind body.
Reach down with left arm with weight on left leg.
Sitting Position Fixes
Keep left knee behind the right.
Keep left hand on right knee for right trunk rotation.
Keep right arm supported if possible (left trunk side bending).
Right knee should be higher than left (foot support under right side).
Lead with left arm and right leg when moving forward.
Feel each heel as you strike the ground and try to push off with your big toes on each side as your foot leaves the ground.
Wear shoes that have good arch support and find and feel your right arch with each step you take on the right side.
Occasionally take a smaller step with the left leg than the right or a larger step with the right leg than the left. This would include moving the left arm forward more that the right or the right arm backward more than the left.
Weave with a very slow pace from one side of the sidewalk to the other.
When walking clockwise, remember to focus on feeling the right shoe arch and take a greater swing with the left arm as the right leg moves forward and your body weight shifts over the left leg.
When walking counter-clockwise, remember to heel strike and push off with the big toe on the left side. As the right knee comes up, when the left foot is on the ground, move the left elbow to the right knee slightly more and raise the right knee slightly higher than you would on the other side.
Don’t look at floor when walking, running or performing exercises.
Reach for the floor when you swing your arm forward during gait.
Don’t walk with feet turned out.
Never have 1 arm stuck holding a purse or in a pocket during walking.
Some Other Postural Cues:
Don’t hold your breath
Don’t clench your teeth
Don’t sleep on a soft bed
See the optometrist for an eye exam
Touch your toes often while standing (should be able to clip your own toenails!)
Squat, squat, squat!
Don’t sit for over 1 hour without getting up to walk (humans are designed to move!)
There is some great postural fixes in this article, but if you would like a thorough postural assessment by one of our highly trained postural experts at BTF, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 310-534-1900 today.
Postural Restoration Institute