Postural assessments are an important part of an evaluation and treatment plan. Moreover, it will allow a better understanding of functional movement and ability to self-correct a habit. An example of this is in a boxer, who enhances a hyper-kyphotic and rounded shoulder posture to reduce his target size for strategic advantage, but when tested, may be able to self-correct the seemingly poor posture.
We will assess for muscle length, joint mobility and muscle control. Altered posture may be related to muscle imbalances and altered joint position, which could result in movement dysfunction and pain.
Sustained contractions impair normal blood flow in skeletal muscles. Optimal posture allows muscles the opportunity to relax in between contractions which permits and facilitates recovery of circulation!
When I do an assessment, I am looking for:
Musculoskeletal system for any imbalances
Overall ability to move well
Consider the fact that most clients sit at a desk all day staring at a computer screen. And this isn't limited to the typical office worker anymore. This can even start at a young age with smartphones playing a larger role in our everyday lives.
The most common imbalances I see as a fitness professional are:
Shortened hip flexors
Forward head posture
Anteriorly rotated shoulders