Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Bradenton FL & Parrish FL - Sports Medicine physician Florida USA

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Posture Assessment


According to the physical therapist practice teaching manuals, posture is the alignment and the positioning of the body in relation to gravity, center of mass, or base of support. Good posture promote musculoskeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity. Postural deviation or malalignment can have a serious, negative impact on body mechanics, function, activities of daily living, and sport specific techniques.


The patient’s posture should be assessed from various angles. When examining the patient from the side, the ear should be in line with the middle of the shoulders. Typically the height of the dominant shoulder is lower than that of the non-dominant shoulder.


Using a plumb line, the general landmarks for posture should line up at the earlobe going down through the acromioclavicular joint, into the lateral hip at the greater trochanter then to the outside of the ankle at the lateral malleolus. Frequently observed postural abnormalities that are seen include head forward posture, rounded forward shoulder posture, and hyperextension at the lower back or hyperlordosis.


Posture is also affected by scoliosis. Scoliosis refers to side-to-side curvature of the spine greater than 10 degrees. A curve at the upper spine towards the right is the most common type of scoliosis. When one finds one curve a second corrective curve should be looked for. Commonly there can be a triple or a quadruple curve.


Another condition where posture is important is in the management of cervical nerve stretch syndrome notably the brachial plexus.


Maintaining a head up and chest out posture helps reduce compression at the neural foramina of the neck and opens the thoracic outlet. The thoracic outlet is the passage between the chest and the neck that is used by the brachial plexus as well as several blood vessels.


Taras V. Kochno, M.D.

Board Certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

Copyright July 2, 2012












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