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Your Body's Posture---Get It Corrected, Part 2

Posted Mar 19 2008 6:17pm

The cumulative injury cycle and postural distortion patterns are real problems that everyone has to deal with at some point. As was stated in Part 1 of this series, you must correct your postural imbalances and dysfunctions as much as possible to enable your body to reach optimal strength, flexibility, balance and power. I also wrote that if one component of the kinetic chain (muscular, skeletal, neural) is out of alignment, patterns of tissue overload and dysfunction will develop. This misalignment, if left uncorrected, will decrease your neuromuscular control and the cumulative injury cycle will begin.

Patterns of postural dysfunction are commonly called postural distortion patterns. Distortion patterns occur because the structural integrity of the kinetic chain is compromised due to the misalignment of one or more of its components. To avoid postural distortion patterns, you must maintain optimum static, transitional and dynamic postural control. Static posture was detailed in Part 1. Transitional postural assessments include: overhead squat tests, single-leg squat tests and single-leg balance excursion tests. Dynamic postural assessments include: sport-specific movements, agility tests, gait assessments and reaction time tests. Transitional and dynamic postural assessments will be detailed in Part 4.

The cumulative injury cycle, which occurs because one or more of the components of the kinetic chain are out of line, follows this pattern:

1. Tissue trauma
2. Inflammation
3. Muscle spasm
4. Muscle adhesions
5. Faulty neuromuscular control
6. Muscle imbalances (less than optimal length-tension relationships). Muscles can develop maximal tension when they maintain optimal length. Muscle imbalances are caused by postural stress, pattern overload, repetitive movement, lack of core stability and lack of neuromuscular control.

When this cycle is completed, the kinetic chain can not have functional efficiency. When the neuromuscular system performs functional activities (body movements) with the least amount of energy and stress on the kinetic chain, functional efficiency is achieved.

Common postural dysfunctions are:

1. Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Postural Distortion
2. Upper-Extremity Postural Distortion
3. Lower-Extremity Postural Distortion

These postural distortions will be detailed in Part 3 of this series.

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