Learn About Ailments | Postural problems

Postural problems

Postural problems refer to health issues that can arise as a result of poor posture. If parts of the body are not aligned correctly then this can produce strain which causes pain or discomfort. Underlying causes may be the formation of bad habit, abnormal body development or poor blood circulation.
Postural problems

In This Article
Causes of postural problems Symptoms of postural problems
Diagnosis of postural problems Related Terms

Postural problems are typically related to either sitting or standing in an awkward position, irregular  walking pattern, abnormal physical development or illness.

Poor posture places strain on the structure of the body i.e. bones, ligaments, tendons etc. Slouching while walking and standing is a common cause of postural problems as the body is unnaturally pushed forwards. Slouching in a chair or sitting in an awkward position places excessive strain on the back and neck.

Stress on the body's structure can result in strains and sprains of the soft tissue or fractures of the bone. Injury can also occur in different parts of the body away from the area which is not correctly aligned. For example, problems with the feet can result in knee pain and lower back problems.

Some postural problems are as a result of a medical condition. In adolescents, a condition called scoliosis causes deformity of the spine resulting in lateral curving. The spine can curve and resemble the letter 'C' or in the case of a secondary curve the letter 'S'.

Rounded shoulders is a common condition that is caused by a spinal abnormality. The curvature of the spine causes the shoulders to be pushed forwards creating a hunched posture. Knock knees and bow legs can have a negative impact on posture as the majority of the body's weight is placed on the instep or outstep of the foot.

Poor posture can also be caused by degenerative diseases particularly as the body ages. Conditions such as kyphosis and ankylosing spondylarthritis are common in the elderly.

In most cases, postural problems can be easily corrected and any pain or discomfort is temporary. However some chronic ailments can not be easily treated or may take longer to correct than a short-term problem. In these cases, poor posture can affect blood circulation which can lead to problems with the internal organs and other bodily functions.

Common symptoms of postural problems include:
  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Joint pain
  • Foot blisters/corns/calluses
  • Muscle weakness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness
  • Tingling sensations
  • Poor circulation
  • Bowel problems

In the first instance, you should visit your GP if you are suffering postural problems. The GP will first try to rule out any serious underlying causes through physical examination and, if necessary, diagnostic tests such as X-ray, MRI or CT scan.

For many people, postural problems can be treated by simple corrections to the way you sit and walk however you may be referred to a physiotherapist, osteopath, chiropractor or podiatrist as they specialise in correcting the body's structure.

Back pain

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Acupressure Alexander Technique Chiropractic
Craniosacral Therapy Deep Tissue Massage Hawaiian Massage
Holistic Massage Kinesiology Massage
Osteopathy Physiotherapy Pilates
Podiatry (Chiropody) Remedial Massage Sports Massage

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