The word posture originates from the Latin word ‘ponere’, meaning ‘out of place’. Your posture will be determined on how you stand, and the position of limbs and the shape of your spine.
Good posture can help with respiration and circulation. Most people’s postures aren’t perfect, but there are some extreme cases which are referred to as postural faults. Lordosis is used to describe an inward curve or arch to the lumbar and cervical columns of the vertebrae. A major factor of Lordosis is also that the pelvis tilts forwards and rests on the femurs.An increase in Lordosis can occur during puberty, but there are other causes such as imbalances in muscle strength and a difference in the thickness of the anterior and posterior part of the intervertebral disc. Lordosis is common in amongst people who do a lot of heavy lifting due to incorrect lifting along with people who sit at a computer regularly, another common symptom is being overweight.
Lordosis of the lower back can be treated by strengthening the hips. Hip extensors can be strengthened and the hip flexors can be stretched. Pushing important organs towards the spine can also help, this will alleviate the lumbar curvature.Physical therapy can also help treat 70% of back pain causes, Lordosis can be correcting using exercises. Regularly and correctly performing these exercises may reduce symptoms, chiropractors and physical therapists can provide these exercises. If you have a job in heavy lifting, ensure you are lifting correctly and not straining your back, keep a healthy diet to avoid becoming over weight, and also if working at a desk, try to do exercises to help the back and walk around regularly.
Squatting is a good exercise to help with Lordosis, it will prevent lower back pain as it helps to push your abs out, it can prevent excess arching.A knee to chest stretch is also a good exercise to help with Lordosis, this involves laying on your back and lifting your one leg to your chest; followed by the other this is good for the lower back as it stretches muscles in order to prevent any further back pain. The pelvic tilt is another exercise which can help people who are suffering from Lordosis, it involves lying on your back and pulling your abdomen in to your back and see how far you can tilt your pelvis up, regular pelvic tilting can help with Lordosis as it strengthens any tight muscles that have been caused by sitting too much.Scoliosis is another type of postural fault. The word scoliosis comes from an Ancient Greek term meaning crooked, as the spine will resemble a crooked shape. Scoliosis can be identified by looking at a person’s hips, the hips will be uneven which this will exaggerate the length of the person’s leg.
Another way to identify scoliosis would be a predominant shoulder blade caused by rotation in the ribcage. The diagram shows the tilting of the spinal column, the more curved the spine is the more severe the scoliosis is.Scoliosis was thought to be more common in children, however over the years it has been established that there is an increase in scoliosis in mature adults; it is thought that 7/10 adults aged 65 or over have some form of scoliosis. In most cases; scoliosis is caused by neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy which is a condition caused by brain damage that occurs around birth, or by muscular dystrophy a genetic condition which causes weak muscles.It is said in 90% of childhood scoliosis cases that treatment may not be required as over time it will correct itself otherwise, children can be treated by a back brace in which will prevent any further curving to the spine. However, in adults as it is too late to correct the spine therefore the treatment aims to relieve any pain and discomfort.
A back brace, painkillers, and correct exercises are the preferred options and surgery is seen to be the ‘last resort’. Simple stretches can help prevent any further scoliosis such as leg and arm extensions.Arm extensions consist of sitting down and extending your left arm and lifting your left leg in unison, hold this for 3 seconds then repeat with the right arm and leg, this exercise is good as it strengthens the back muscles and helps to prevent any move curvation in the spine. Another good exercise for scoliosis is the rowing exercise, this exercise uses weights to strengthen the muscles.
Holding 5 to 10 pound weights in each hand bend each elbow towards the hips, relax, then repeat in 3 sets of 10. As well as Lordosis and scoliosis, there is another postural fault known as kyphosis.A khypotic spine can be recognised by an arch in the thoratic vertebrae causing a slouched posture or a ‘hunch back’ The symptoms of khyphosis include back pain, difficulty in breathing and feeling fatigue, it can be developed at any age but is rare at birth. The causes of kyphosis can be caused by degenerate diseases such as arthritis, fractures or injuries and endocrine diseases. The treatment of Khyphosis depends on the severity of the curve, in most cases with children no treatment is required as they 'grow out' of it.
Alternatively another option can be to wear a brace this can help to reposition the spine and also prevent any further curvature to the spine, severe cases of kyphosis require surgery to straighten the spine. Exercises can also be an effective way of treating kyphosis, exercises including prone extensions. Prone extensions involve laying down with your face and palms both facing down; hands by your side, then squeezing your glutes and raising your back. The prone exercise with help to strengthen muscles around the area and help with any back pain that is being experienced.Another good exercise which will help with postural alignment and reduce strain on muscles involved sitting on the edge of a chair with your knees slightly apart and gently performing a pelvic tilt placing your arms in front of you palms facing outwards and pushing from your back, hold this position.
As well as postural faults there are also three different body types, they depends upon characteristics such as the amount of muscle, fat, strength of body parts and bone structure. Not everybody fits into one category; it is possible for people to be a mixture of each.The ectomorphic body type can be identified by a slim figure as the body will have thin limbs and thin muscles, being ectomorphic means that the body has a low fat storage and a low ability to build muscle. A Mesomorphic body type is recognized by a slightly bigger build than ectomorphic.
The characteristics of a Mesomorphic body are medium sized bones along with a predominant upper body. There will be a solid torso and wide shoulders however with a narrow waist due to low fat levels. Mesomorphs are prone to build muscle but not store fat.