Biomechanics and your Ideal Posture
Posture is very important for the alignment, free mobility and pain free movement.
Gravity is a very important force to consider when dealing with biomechanics of the human movement. The gravitational force acts on the levers or joints of the body.
Being aware of our posture and movement is crucial for maintaining our ideal Posture.
Line of Gravity (LOG)
The Line of Gravity (LOG) through our body is an imaginary line. It is the ‘ideal posture’ that maintains optimal spinal curvature or neutral spine.
All healthy muscles, ligaments, joints work optimally in this ideal posture.
The direction of the force of gravity through the body is downward, towards the centre of the earth. This Line of Gravity is important to understand for optimal posture and is important for a person to successfully maintain balance.
Base of Support (BOS)
The Base of Support (BOS) refers to the area beneath a person that includes every point of contact that the person makes with a supporting surface. In the standing posture this is over fixed feet.
The location of the Line of Gravity in relation to the Base of Support has a huge influence on the ideal posture and stability. When the Line of Gravity is within the Base of Support (BOS), a person is said to be stable. When the Line of
Gravity falls outside the Base of Support then a reaction is needed for stability in order to stay balanced. Our centre of gravity moves.
Centre of Gravity (COG)
Every body has a unique point around which the body is equally distributed. This is the centre of Gravity. The Centre of Gravity constantly changes with motion. With every movement and change of position the Centre of Gravity changes weight distribution, the way joints react and muscles perform for optimal movement and balance.
A simple change in position of the Line of Gravity can change the forces of your joints, change muscle activation patterns and neuromuscular input that is required for movement and balance.
Maintaining our Centre of Gravity while standing, sitting, moving, etc. is very important.
Muscles are the tissues that contract and create force on the body’s levers (joints). Muscle forces are needed to maintain posture and to counter any movement or sway while maintaining balance.
When our ideal posture is defected for any reason, the Line of Gravity will shift and the muscle forces required to maintain an ideal posture will change affecting the joints and bones placement. Muscle length will also change, changing the angles at the joints which in turn affect the strength of the joints.
Reasons for Muscle Pattern Imbalance
For optimal muscle pattern and equal forces during movement we must be aware of our body movement. Repetitive use is the major cause of muscle disfunction. We need to be aware that we drive with our right foot only, we always use our dominating foot to walk through a door and we usually use our mouse with one hand only.
Many activities require a forward movement such as our phone and computer, etc. These activities plus many others lead to a change in muscle activation patterns and can change the Line of Gravity.
Muscle forces change leading to imbalance in biomechanics, restricted joint movement and nerve impairment where muscle activation becomes limited, such as, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.
All postural and movement dysfunctions throughout the body, result in movement compensations as regional musculature become excessively underactive or overactive and cause the formation of Myofascial Trigger points causing pain.
A change in the Line of Gravity causes a change in the amount of force applied to the joints causing weakness and pain. Repetitive movement causes an imbalance in the muscle activation patterns and an inequality in the countering muscles, therefore changing the force created and a shift in the Line of Gravity. A balance is always required to prevent muscle disfunction, the risk for spinal instability and degeneration.
This change in the direction and force applied to the joints leads to common posture defects like Forward Head Syndrome, Medial or Lateral Elbow disfunction (golf or tennis elbow), Kyphosis, Lordosis, anterior and posterior Pelvic Tilt, etc. which can all lead to a change in muscle activation patterns within the body while trying to maintain balance.
Body awareness and our Ideal Posture
Body awareness and optimal muscle function are a major part of our health and movement.
Massage assists in maintaining our ideal posture and optimal biomechanical movement by increasing joint movement and muscle activation patterns. Massage releases Myofascial Trigger points and increases blood flow and subtlety for maximal function and strength.
Be body aware and increase your range of movement and give your body the freedom it deserves. Maintaining an ideal posture assists all movement and slows disfunction patterns forming associated with work and aging. It will assist with maximizing your exercise program and sports ability.