What is Good Posture?

by ih-mis admin

The word “posture” often conjures flashbacks to adolescence with a motherly voice exhorting you to “stand up straight!”  As a physical therapist I often hear patient’s say “I have awful posture” or “I try to maintain good posture”.  These statements beg the question, what is good posture?  

Good posture is not a spot on a map, it does not reflect an “ideal” spine position that we should all aspire to.  Good posture reflects a body that is neutral, a midrange that allows the opportunity to move freely and equally on both sides.  People can loose this movement variability when their static positions, habits, and daily activities create positional bias’ that limit their movement options and promote compensation. 

Picture yourself driving a car whose alignment is off and keeps drifting to the right.  To continue straight down the road you need to turn the wheel to the left, this is your new neutral.  As your vehicle pulls against its tendency to drift right, your tires wear unevenly, handling declines, and you burn fuel faster.  Much like tire wear, musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction can be a sign of a body that is out of alignment, resulting in limited or faulty movement patterns.

The Postural Restoration Institute® teaches a physical therapy approach that emphasizes analysis of body position and movement ability to identify the chinks in your armor that can often be the underlying cause of pain and dysfunction.  Postural Restoration® goes well beyond static sitting or standing position to identify compensations that may be occurring with every step and every breath.

By Jason Miller, PT, MS, SCSC, PRC (Postural Restoration Certified™)

Jason has been working as a physical therapist with Missoula Bone & Joint since 2016. He employs a treatment approach that analyzes posture and movement patterns to identify the underlying causes of pain and dysfunction. Jason enjoys working with clients of all backgrounds and ages to achieve their goals. He especially enjoys the challenge of finding solutions to persistent problems that may have failed to respond to other treatment.