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Injury Pain Posture Exercise
Posture Exercise: STANDING BALANCE TEST
GOAL: Balance for 30 seconds on one foot while standing straight.
For how long can you stand on your left leg? On your right one?
If you have any difficulty performing this exercise check out our one-leg assisted standing exercise here.
Are you standing straight?
Are you twisting and throwing your arms out to keep your balance?
Your Posture Determines Your Balance
If you can’t maintain good posture and balance for 30 seconds on each side of your body, then your posture is most likely not symmetrical.
The muscles of your body hold you erect against gravity and keep you from falling down.
So long as you are not falling down, you are balanced. However this does not mean you have the most proper posture.
If you don’t balance, you fall down!
Our bodies are constantly falling forward, but our muscles prevent us falling. Body strength is determined by how well you balance, know and can control where your body is in space.
Posture is how you balance your body.
An unbalanced body causes stressful adaptations and physical changes over time, ultimately causing problems and pain. We may believe we are standing straight because we think our senses tell us so, even though the mirror shows we do not have balanced posture.
Our bodies muscles work to balance us when we stand, when we sit, when we work, when we play.
When people say they have good or bad posture, this relates to where they “think” (sense)hold their body in space while resisting gravity. This equilibrium is how closely aligned your perception of where you are in space is with the reality of where your body truly is in space. The muscles we constantly but unconsciously use to stay upright are controlled by central nerve system which includes the brain, brainstem, spinal cord, which integrates information from 3 sensory sources.
The brain relies on information from three main body sources:
Help to keep us aligned with the horizontal plane we walk upon.
Provide constant detailed feedback for how aligned we are on this horizontal plane.
Feedback sensors from the joints and muscles tell our brains exactly where our bodies are on the horizontal plane of space where we live, work and play.
What about PAIN?
Pain affects this entire system. When we are injured, the body moves to avoid pain. Over
time, the body adapting to pain creates habits (typically bad for the body long term).
When the pain no longer exists the unbalanced poor motion or postural patterns persist. The body must still balance to stand against gravity. So, the brain adapts and adopts muscles and joint positions to accomodate this now prevalent sub-optimal body position.
In other words acute and chronic pain can cause problems in both movement and posture.
Many older people with long standing pain and postural problems often literally have to think about standing up. Your posture is your ability to balance your body, so the first step in strengthening posture is to strengthen your balance.
Comparison of postural control in unilateral stance between healthy controls and lumbar discectomy patients with and without pain
Frontal plane ankle proprioceptive thresholds and unipedal balance
Check out our other related posts:
Injured in an accident? What neck pain exercises should you be doing?
Is Your Poor Posture Affecting Your Health?