The Importance of Good Posture

Posture can be defined as a position of the body or the arrangements of body parts relative to one another. Posture is often thought in relation to the spine, but it also includes your extremities. Posture can be good, bad, or somewhere in between. Posture is important when standing, sitting and even when lying down.

So why is good posture so important and poor posture so bad? Well, it all starts with the way we are made. Our body is made a little bit like a puzzle. All our body parts are designed to fit together in way that creates the least amount of stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, and muscles. When we start to deviate from this ideal posture and spend more time in poor postures, we put stress extra stress on the joints, discs, ligaments, tendons, and muscles. Anywhere the body deviates away from ideal posture and alignment stress is put on that area of the body.

So how can PT help? Physical therapy always includes an assessment of posture, analysis of how the patient’s posture is contributing to the current problem, education on how to improve posture, and interventions including hands on treatment and exercises to improve posture.

Fall Prevention

Did you know…

Adults age 65 or older:

  • 1 out of 3 adults fall each year
  • Falls are the leading cause of injury death, and the most common cause of nonfatal injury & hospital admission for trauma

Many people who fall, even if they are not injured, develop a fear of falling. This fear may cause them to limit their activities, which leads to reduced mobility and loss of physical fitness, and in turn increases their actual risk of falling.

Balance: A person can become disoriented if the sensory input received from his or her eyes, muscles, joints, or vestibular organs sources conflict with one another.

  • Joints and Mechanoreceptors– As joints age, mechanoreceptors become less sensitive.
  • Cerebellum and Brain– Movements and neurological function decreases as we age.
  • Inner Ear- Vertigo is a common cause of falls.
  • Sense of Sight– Vision decreases as we age and diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in
  • Sense of Touch– Diabetic neuropathy can mean loss of feeling, which can lead to poor balance.

How can Physical or Occupational Therapy help?

  • Evaluate each patient to find which of these symptoms are affecting the ability to balance.
  • Review the patient’s medical history
  • Review the patient’s medication list
  • Perform a clinical observation
  • Berg balance scale test
  • Specific tests for vertigo

Physical Therapy Vs Occupational Therapy

Have you ever wondered what Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy are and how they differ? While there are numerous differences, the primary distinction between the two disciplines of PT & OT is that physical therapy’s main focus is gross motor function, or large muscle movements, while occupational therapy focuses on how the patient uses fine motor, or small muscle movements, and cognitive skills to perform tasks that are meaningful to them. To learn more, check out the video below.