The cumulative injury cycle and postural distortions are real problems that everyone has to address. Neck, hip, low back, shoulder and knee pain are many times due to bad posture. You must correct your postural imbalances and dysfunctions as much as possible to avoid injuries.
If one component of the kinetic chain (muscular, skeletal, neural) is out of alignment, patterns of tissue overload and dysfunction will develop. This misalignment, if left uncorrected, will decrease your neuromuscular control and the cumulative injury cycle will begin.
Patterns of postural dysfunction are commonly called postural distortion patterns. Distortion patterns occur because the structural integrity of the kinetic chain is compromised due to the misalignment of one or more of its components. To avoid postural distortion patterns, you must maintain optimum static, transitional and dynamic postural control.
Static posture is basically your standing/sitting posture. Transitional postural assessments include: overhead squat tests, single-leg squat tests and single-leg balance excursion tests. Dynamic postural assessments include: sport-specific movements, agility tests, gait assessments and reaction time tests.
The cumulative injury cycle, which occurs because one or more of the components of the kinetic chain are out of line, follows this pattern:
1. Tissue trauma
3. Muscle spasm
4. Muscle adhesions
5. Faulty neuromuscular control
6. Muscle imbalances (less than optimal length-tension relationships). Muscles can develop maximal tension when they maintain optimal length. Muscle imbalances are caused by postural stress, pattern overload, repetitive movement, lack of core stability and lack of neuromuscular control.
This cycle can repeat itself over and over and leave you in constant pain. That’s not what you want.
Common postural dysfunctions are:
1. Lumbo-Pelvic-Hip Postural Distortion
2. Upper-Extremity Postural Distortion
3. Lower-Extremity Postural Distortion
Have your posture examined as soon as possible by a fitness professional. You can avoid much pain and injury by correcting your postural problems.