Do you need us?
Try a few self tests on yourself and your family.
Moore Massage Stittsville
Take your shoes off and stand naturally with feet shoulder width apart. Resist arching your foot as a partner puts their flat fingers under the arch of your foot. Proper weightbearing arch height is your fingers going under the foot to the first crease in your finger. Unable to get fingers under the arch indicates overpronation. Excessive space equals a rigid supinated foot. Both these conditions cause problems up the kinetic chain. As the arch of the foot falls it causes a twist up the leg with negative consequences for the knee, hip and back. See orthotic therapy
Your weight distribution left to right
You may surprise yourself. Find to scales and place them on solid flooring. Put one foot on each scale. Are you putting more weight (over 5 pounds) to one side? This is significant on the wear and tear of your hip and knee joints and can contribute to osteoarthritis of these joints.
Posture Self Test
1) Stand against the wall with your feet shoulder width apart and heels about 6 inches from the base board.
For this test have your tailbone and shoulder blades touching the wall
If you have good posture, your ears will be vertically in line with your shoulders and your head will be no more than three finger widths from the wall.
Try this test:.
2) Start in the same position with your feet shoulder width apart and heels about 6 inches from the base board.
This time, make sure that the back your head and then your tailbone is against the wall.
Do you have to forcefully arch your low back to get into this position or is low back is more than 1-2 inches from the wall ? If so, your posture needs some work.
If you can get have an 1-2 at the low back and 2 inches at the neck, you are close to having excellent posture. If not, it is important that you have professional attention to restore the normal curvatures of your spine.
3) Stand in your normal posture with your arms to your sides with hands open, palms facing your body and thumbs facing forward.
Now raise your arms in an arc, in front of you until your thumbs are pointing upward and then, keep going (as your thumbs point backwards and hands are over your head) until you can go no further, or your shoulders hurt.
If your arms are straight (elbows locked) and your hands are in front of your shoulders, your upper back or shoulders are too stiff.
This can lead to forward rounding of the shoulders and hunch back posture.
4) In a normal sitting or standing posture, turn your head from side to side. Can you get equally as far to each side?
If you were able to turn farther to one side, your posture may be affecting the function of your neck.
As you may have already noticed, this can affect your ability to check your blindspot when driving but this can lead to neck pain and headache.
Here's another test,
How well are you breathing?
5) Take a soft tape measure and wrap it tight around your chest; across your shoulder blades in back and at the level of your breast bone in front.
Expel all of your air and measure.
Now breathe as deeply as possible and measure again.
Your chest expansion is the difference the second and first measurements.
In men chest expansion should be roughly two inches and in women, one inch.
If your chest is not expanding fully, you are not inflating your lungs as much as you could be. This means less air (and less oxygen) in and out with each breath.
Chronically rounded shoulders and a stiff upper back may be the cause of limited chest expansion.
Front view - Stand facing a full length mirror and check to see if:
Your shoulders are level;
Your head is straight;
The spaces between your arms and sides seem equal;
Your hips are level, your kneecaps face straight ahead;
Your ankles are straight.
Side View - This is much easier to do with the help of another, or by taking a photo. Check for the following:
Head is erect, not slumping forward or backwards;
Chin is parallel to the floor, not tilting up or down;
Shoulders are in line with ears, not drooping forward or pulled back;
Knees are straight;
Lower back has a slightly forward curve (not too flat or not curved too much forward, creating a hollow back).
Core Strength Test
What you need to understand is that a flat stomach or six pack or 100 crunches a day have very little effect on your core strength and some of those ab exercises can hurt your back. Why? Because a lot of these crunches serve to strengthen the hip flexors. Tight hip flexors, pull the pelvis into anterior rotation, which stresses the low back and actually lengthens the rectus abdominus. The core is made up of a variety of interconnecting muscles that are designed to stabilize your spine and pelvis and even connect with your shoulders, all this provides a base for all your movements. These muscles run the length of the trunk and the torso, they help to keep us upright and control most movements through the legs and arms and of course provide major stability to the spine.
If you suffer from aches and pains maybe you could need to think about your core muscle group.
Here is an easy test to see how your core strength is:
Lie on the floor in the plank position (push up position but on elbows and forearms not hands), back flat like a plank. Have a watch with a second hand under your face on the floor.
Hold this position for 60 seconds
Lift your right arm off floor for 15 seconds-return to floor
Lift your left arm off floor for 15 seconds- return to floor
Lift your right leg off floor for 15 seconds- return to floor
Lift your left leg off floor for 15 seconds-return to floor
Lift your right leg and left arm off floor for 15 seconds- return both limbs to floor
Lift your left leg and right arm off floor for 15 seconds-return both limbs to floor
Return to plank position for 30 seconds
If you can complete the test it indicates that your core strength is good. If you cannot you may need some exercises to try and improve it. Do this test weekly to see how your core strength improves over time.
A way to work your core, is to simply do your exercises on unstable surfaces, such as a bosu ball. Its your core muscles that keep you upright.
Strengthen your core while you work out by focusing your mind around your mid area and try drawing your belly button in towards your spine, imagine the two of them trying to connect. This isn't done by holding your breath it's just a matter of concentrating on drawing your tummy in, I instruct clients not to suck in their tummy as if wearing a bikini, but to tighten up as if they are bracing for a punch in the stomach. This action may require a slight forward tilt of the pelvis, this movement tightens up your glutes and lines up your hips over your legs . This can be hard to do, like all things we start off good and then we quickly forget, so for starters, make this your set position before every movement in your weight training, or check in every Km during a run. Make it a habit.
Call 613 831 8374 to learn more about your posture from one of our registered massage therapists at Moore Massage Therapy in Stittville.