Have you had your alignment checked lately?
Usually when you hear this question, the first thing that comes to mind is when the last time you had your car serviced. More importantly is when you last took a look at yourself. For most people, when they think about personal alignment they simply think “posture” – Sitting posture, standing posture – and they acknowledge that they know it could be better. This is probably true for most of us as the demands of our lives force us to assume positions out of convenience, comfort or ease. The truth of the matter is most people do not know what they look like.
Have a family member or friend take a candid picture of you sitting at your desk and standing. Knowing what you look like is a start but then finding out why you assume that position is more important with regards to correcting it and this is where a health provider such as your physical therapist can help.
Alignment goes way beyond posture, but that is a good place to start. Stand tall and imagine there is a straight line from your ears to shoulders to hips to ankles. You should also check your desk ergonomics and avoid slouching while standing and sitting. Our bodies are biomechanical works of art, physics at its finest. Poor alignment of the body not only adds stress to the joints and soft tissues due to static forces holding you up, but also immediately makes it harder on your body to function and move in that position.
Poor alignment can cause unnecessary “wear and tear,” fatigue, and overuse of tissues which can cause pain, but did you also know that it can affect your breathing, your continence, your power, and speed? Did you know that sometimes it is not weakness that leads to these issues, it can simply be a position, posture or alignment issue? Alignment issues can affect people of all ages with similar and very different effects as mentioned above, and since we know you will outlive your car, please service yourself more often than every 3,000 miles.
We are here to help. If you feel you need professional help to improve your alignment and help prevent further or future injury please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Written by Lauren Masi, PT, DPT, OCS, ATC, and Clinical Services Director
Arranged and Edited by Jill Ramsey, BSBA, Administrative Director
This article is intended as general health information and is not intended to provide individual specific medical advice, professional diagnosis, opinion, treatment or services to you or any other individual. Please consult your doctor or a medical professional before starting or changing a health, fitness, or nutrition program.