Posture (AKA-Balanced Alignment) and its link to chronic pain

Pain is our body’s way of communicating to us. Long before the pain that grabs our attention, there will have been more subtle cues that we either chose to ignore (” I haven’t got time for the pain”) or we just didn’t understand the message and thought it would pass. If you are suffering from chronic pain, you are way past “popping a pill” for any relief; it is now necessary to develop an awareness of the bigger picture of your alignment/posture.

You may be surprised to know that pain is not a natural part of ageing; but pain can certainly be present as we age. Whiplash, twisted ankles, broken bones and surgeries are all traumatic injuries that leave their mark on tissues long after healing has taken place. Just as an emotional trauma leaves its mark on our psyche, perhaps changing the way we view our world; a physical trauma leaves its mark through compensation patterns which change the way we move through our world. As these patterns of compensation become “grooved” into our body tissues and movement patterns, our balanced alignment becomes misaligned, never to return to its former alignment. This is a gradual process that is difficult to notice until pain forces us to notice.

Misalignment of our posture/balanced alignment can create inflammation/wear & tear/osteoarthrosis-call it what you will, the outcome is the same-pain/chronic pain and a wearing away of the supportive tissue in our joints. Searching out medical intervention usually ends up with a pain medication prescription and possibly a Physiotherapy referral. All good options to get you out of pain at that particular moment. Usually these solutions do not address the underlying cause of your pain, and seek only to eliminate the immediate pain which both are typically successful at.

But, the pain comes back! Looking at our posture/ balanced alignment globally gives us clues as to what may be the main cause of our pain. To be clear, we are not talking about perfect posture, because very few of us have perfect posture; however, balanced alignment typically provides us with ease of movement and freedom from pain. For example, when we sit too long the body becomes habituated to this position and over time, slowly and methodically, our body begins to tighten certain areas (front of the body, so we begin to slump forward) and over stretch other areas (muscles/tissues that support the back and the spine) and now we have an imbalance.

Looking at the body as a whole to determine alignment imbalances is important if one wants to get to the root of the problem, rather than just manage symptoms. Awareness of the “bigger postural picture”/balanced alignment provides us with the opportunity to help ourselves by developing a strategy of strengthening weak areas, and using fascial release techniques in tight areas. These techniques are easily learned and when integrated into your day (just like brushing your teeth etc.) you will have an effective tool to manage your pain. I have been helping many people over the past 25 years to manage their pain, please reach out if you would like to know more.