Posture Self Assessment

Some of you may be wondering how you can tell if your posture is out of alignment. While at 'A Life Pain Free' the postural assessment we do is more in-depth and includes a gait analysis and functional testing, the following simplified assessment will give you an idea what to look for on yourself. You will need to be dressed in shorts and a T-shirt or less so that you can observe your body without obstruction.

1. Before you go to the mirror for a visual assessment, stand for a moment in a comfortable position. Close your eyes and focus your thoughts on your feet. Think about where you feel your weight to be. Is it more on one foot than another? Within each foot, is the weight more on the heels or balls of the foot? Is it more on the outside or inside edge of the foot? Is one foot different than the other?

2. Open your eyes and look down at your feet. Are your feet directly under your hips, or are they closer together, or are they wider apart? Are either of them pointing out, or in, rather than straight ahead? Is one foot farther forward than the other?

3. Now move to a mirror where you can view yourself full length. Look at you knee caps and again notice if they are pointing in any direction other than straight ahead. Are they both pointing different directions?

4. The pelvis is the most important structure in relation to your posture. What happens here affects everything above and below it. The pelvis is designed to be in a neutral position but can be tilted backwards or forwards; it can be elevated on one side; it can also be rotated forward or backward on one side. Testing for tilt is difficult to do by yourself but elevation and rotation are easier to identify. Place the tip of your index fingers on the bony prominence on the front of your pelvis and look in the mirror. Make sure that your fingers are pointing toward the center of your body at the front. Looking in the mirror, is one finger higher than the other? Looking down at your fingers, is one more forward than the other? You may also be able to see if your pelvis is elevated on one side by tucking your shirt into your waistband and looking in the mirror. Does the waistband look level or is it up at one side?

5. Now look up at your shoulders. Does one shoulder look higher than the other? Does one shoulder appear to be closer to the mirror? Check the position of your hands. Can you see the back of either hand? Can you see more of the back of one hand than the other? Do the tips of the fingers hanging down look level with each other or is one hand lower than the other? Is one hand closer to the mirror than the other?

6. One more thing you should check is your head position in relation to the rest of your body and for this you will need another person or you can take a side view photograph of yourself to study. Draw an imaginary line down your body on the side view. Is your ear forward of the center of your shoulders? Is the ear behind the center of the shoulder? A body in alignment has a vertical line that goes through the ear, center of the shoulder, hip, knee, and outer ankle. If you connect these points on your body what would the line look like?

 7. Lastly there is also one functional test that is easy to perform and will help you get an idea of whether your body is out of alignment. Stand in front of the mirror on one leg. Do this by bringing the opposite leg up so that your knee is in line with your hip. Notice if you wobble. Do you lean to one side or did you rotate forward at your hips or in your upper body? Now try the same thing on the other leg and notice if it is easier or harder than the first leg or the same.

If you answered yes to any of these question or if you noticed that both sides of your body did not look or perform the same, then you are showing signs of postural misalignment. No matter if you have had a previous injury or even surgery such as joint replacement, postural alignment therapy can help you return your body to its proper alignment and restore proper joint function. Even if you have had misalignment for many years, it is not too late to change it. You are not too old. With the right stimulation from the postural alignment exercises the correct muscles can be reawakened to do their proper job again. Remember, bones are where the muscles put them. Muscles have pulled the joints into misalignment and muscles can pull them out again. Muscles will move the correct bones into their correct position. With joints in the positions that they were designed to be, pain will go away. The root of most pain in the body is caused by joints that are out of alignment. Get the body back to where it is supposed to be and the pain goes away. If you did the above self assessment and have seen that you do have postural misalignment then we would be glad to help you. We will commit to further assessing your posture and identifying the best program of exercises to correct your posture and helping you achieve your goal of a life pain-free. For you to enjoy a life pain-free is our goal too. Together we can do it.