How can my posture affect my ‘left’ (or right!) side?

The question of why pain seems to only affect one particular side of the body has numerous answers…

Here we discuss how various postures can affect pain and specifically one side of the body.

Standing posture…

How many of you carry rucksacks with heavy loads to and from work every day? Do you always put both straps on both shoulders?

Lifting heavy loads in a none symmetrical way places unnecessary stress on the back and hips that over time can result in pain. And it’s not just a rucksack or handbag that could do this. Carrying and holding a baby on one side could have the same result in one side of the body becoming cummulatively strained.

In our opinion there is no one size fits all with posture but symmetry is important so we can start from the ground up…distibute your weight evenly between both feet. The soles of the feet and toes should have weight evenly distributed from big to little toe and through the heel centrally. The knees should be straight but there is no need to lock the knees into a fully extended position. If you have your weight too far over your toes – such as a swaying forward position you might be over-arching your back so keeping the weight under the middle of the foot will help keep the pelvic and hips in a good position. Breast bone should be upright and the idea is to be able to draw a line through the middle of the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle.

Sitting posture..

What position are you sitting in now? Legs crossed? Slumping in a chair? One foot hooked under your buttock? Ultimately we are all guilty of falling into a more ‘relaxed’ position during periods of relaxation as well as concentration but sitting like this for hours on end is where your ‘posture’ might become a problem.

The solution ideally is to avoid sitting for long periods but that is not always practical especially if you’re work demands require you to sit. To combat this getting your buttocks to the back of a chair, allowing your spine to be supported by the natural curve of the chair and keeping your breast bone up (as opposed to slumped forwards) might help to avoid back, specific hip and knee pains.

Your posture might not be ‘your fault’…

If you’re tight through one side of your body such as your hip you naturally might be pulled into a particular posture. Couple this tightness with sitting for long periods can result in a downard spiral of tightness and resulting weakness in the tight muscles but also the surrounding muscles. This vicious spiral is difficult to break and often isn’t noticed by our patients until we assess them and highlight it.

If you are struggling with pain that is aggravated by sustained postures whether that is standing or sitting then give us a call on 0118 9462299 for more information or to book an appointment.