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Understanding functional and structural dysfunctional posture

posture and massage herftord

If you have come to see me or are an active patient, you will already know why I go on about posture so much, I am hoping this blog breaks it down and demonstrates how everything in our bodies is connected.

Bones can be seen as the building blocks, connected by ligaments and fascia. Muscles will move and stabilise the bones. Even that simple statement can demonstrate well how you can affect one part of the body and through our connections affect another. To allow full and correct functioning of the musculoskeletal system, relative symmetry in strength and length of the muscles, fascial tension and mobility of the joints is key.

Some postural dysfunctions will be functional and others structural. This is where treatment can be very different from one patient to another.

Functional dysfunctions mean that the soft tissues have adapted by either shortening or lengthening. Soft tissue release, muscle energy techniques, deep tissue massage and postural assessments with guidance can all help these changes.

Structural dysfunctions mean the bones have altered shape or haven’t formed properly. These bone changes can develop with age as our bodies naturally degenerate or it is something a patient is born with. Even though as a therapist I cannot alter this, the soft tissues will still be affected and muscle condition can be helped. The techniques above can be used but much more emphasis will be placed upon remedial exercises, personal training and education on how your body wants to move.

Whether you have a functional or structural dysfunctional posture, having correct posture is key to a happy and healthy body. Poor posture creates muscle fatigue; our bodies work too hard just to sit at a desk or walk along the road. This, in turn, can create pain or a continual ache, poor muscle condition such as adhesions, active trigger points, limited mobility or wear and tear on the surrounding ligaments and joints. Correct posture creates less stress and strain on the body, circulation can improve, sleep quality is usually higher and if we participate in exercise injury risk is lower, strength improves and we feel the benefits much more.

Get in touch to discover how we can advise you on better posture or help your pains.

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