Proper structural alignment ensures the structural integrity of our joints whether we are standing, walking, sitting or lying down. The pelvis is designed to carry and distribute the majority of our weight. Our spine is too fragile to carry this weight. Poor posture forces the spine to carry weight that causes such problems as slipped discs, degenerative joints, joint pain and structural distortions. The human body is built to stand erect with a natural convex curve between the shoulders, a concave curve in the low back, and feet, knees and pelvis tracking straight forward.
Correct posture allows the joints of the spine, pelvis and knees to track properly on their hinges. When the pelvis and knees track properly then the cartilage and lubricant between the joints helps prevent bone grinding on bone. Over time this repetitive grinding erodes away bone and cartilage. Over time gravity’s pressure exasperates the dysfunctions that force the body to compensate in other areas creating multiple problems.
If one walks and or runs with their feet pointing outward or inward then there is an unnatural torque on the hips and possibly the knees. This unnatural torque rubs bone on bone at the edge of one part of the joints by-passing part of the lubricating cartilages that protect the joints during. Over time this friction grinds away at bone tissue and cartilage leading to debilitating pain. Eventually joint replacements are the only remedy for quality of life.
A trained massage therapist can determine a treatment plan based on a structural assessment. Each area of misalignment is methodically massaged for structural realignment. More often than not the fascia and or muscles need deep tissue manipulation to correct the dysfunction. Cranial Sacral Therapy is another great modality to use to unwind and loosen tight fascia tissue and can be used successfully in conjunction with deep tissue therapy and structural realignment.
Therapeutic massage, re-patterning exercises and changes in personal habits will help put one’s posture back where it should be so that the body can heal itself. These remedies will also help reduce the progression of these dysfunctions if the condition is congenital. In some instances congenital disorders can be corrected such as scoliosis if the problem lays in the muscles verses bones fused together.
For example, Kyphosis is the exaggerated curvature of the thoracic spine, the convex curve of the spine between the shoulders. We see this exaggeration more in the elderly than in any other group of people. Over the years gravity, uncorrected tight muscles, stress, improper lifting and or depression gradually exasperated this condition to the point that some cannot even ‘force’ their torso to stand tall.
Kyphosis can be corrected if the bones have not fused together. More often than not this problem lies in the muscles of the chest and deep in the front lower abdomen. These muscles can be corrected with deep tissue massage, re-patterning exercises between sessions, change in lifestyle habits and continued awareness to retrain muscles and posture. More often than not trigger points, knots, tighten and pull the torso forward. It took time to create this dysfunction, therefore, it makes sense to be patient during recovery.