No such thing as perfect posture?! Are you confused? Keep reading... Over the past year as a physical therapist I have learned from courses, mentors and research that there is no such thing as perfect posture. It has been proven within many research studies that posture does not correlate with pain.
Think of how many times a day you move without thinking about posture? This however may be different for you though if you are having pain. Think about all the ways you move out of alignment to pick things up or to reach for something. You move out of “alignment” all the time and don’t break in half!
The perfect or best posture for us is a moving posture. It is important that we have a variety of ways to move! Slouching all day can make you sore yes, but so can the opposite of sitting all day stiff as a board. Some therapists even explain our perfect posture as our next posture because that implies that we are moving. Optimally our perfect posture throughout the day is one that takes us through multiple ranges to maintain joint and muscle health.
What if I have pain in certain positions though? If we are experiencing symptoms with certain postures, no matter the time spent in them, we may need to assume more of a strict posture routine for certain tasks to support a decrease in symptoms. This is where your physical therapist will support you with education and provide you with new postures to work within and support your return to those once painful postures. We may close one movement door for a bit of time, and open news ones, but eventually that once closed door will re-open and your ability to move within many ranges will increase!
What if I am lifting boxes or something heavy? Imagine a pyramid, the bottom of the pyramid is the widest and biggest. This bottom layer of the pyramid is unweighted body movements. In this section of the pyramid we want the greatest variety of movement and we want mobility (flexibility + strength + control = mobility) within many ranges of motion. As we work our way up the pyramid and as weight of the task increases, there will be more optimal postures that will help us potentially create more force and power, as well as decrease risk of injury. It could be argued however that moving out of “alignment” with low to medium loads would increase the variety of movements we then have when performing those tasks!
In summary, perfect posture is an older school of thought when it comes to human movement. To optimize your health and wellness don’t restrict yourself, move throughout many ranges of motion for optimal joint and muscles health! There may be some postures that are more ideal for you, but I would challenge you to expand the variety of movement available and if you need guidance with this, we are here for you at Donald Physiotherapy!
Myranda Reimer, PT