PHE

Posture and Postural Defects

Olawunmi Omosanya - Mon, 22nd April, 2019 @ 15:29: PM

Meaning of Posture:

Posture involves the various ways and manner a person positions his or her body with regards to how they sit, stand, bend, walk, lie, move their body and so on. A good posture indicates the right and proper alignment of the bones and muscles of the body. The part of our body above the hip bone, which include the head, neck, shoulder, upper limbs and backbone or spine, needs to be well balanced on the pelvic or hip bone when assuming a good posture. When a line is traced from the middle of our body, a good posture requires that such line should be straight and not bent. A person may be born with some postural defect. Such a person is said to have a natural postural defect although they may still be surgically corrected. A second type of postural defect is the acquired type which may result from stress, illness, accidents, abnormal eating lifestyles, wearing undersized shoes or lack of physical activities. Bad postures may also be corrected via surgery and proper exercise. 


Below are some examples of postural defects

 

  • Bowleg 

A person is said to be bow-legged if the knees becomes separate when both feet are closed together. Bowleg may result from a disease called rickets or from a lack of calcium and vitamin D which are necessary for the proper bone formation, growth and development. In some cases, bowleg is hereditary and may also lead to arthritis in the lower limb.

Image Credit: Orthobridge Institute

  • Knock knees 

One is said to have a know-knee if both knees are joined together when the feet are separated. It's also referred to as K-legs or genu valgum. Knock knees usually results from malnutrition, obesity and rickets. In some cases, the cause of knock knee is idiopathic or unknown. 

 

  • Protruding Abdomen

A person is said to have a protruding abdomen when the stomach abnormally extends out without any form of pregnancy. In some people, the abdomen protrudes immediately after having a meal: This does not imply that such people have a protruding abdomen; because it tends to go inwards after doing without food for some time. Protruding abdomen is always seen even after a long interval of staying without food. Excessive and improper eating habits, frequent alcohol intake, sickness and lack of exercise can result in protruding abdomen.

 

  • Uneven Shoulder

Image Credit: OrthoInfo

This is seen in a person where both shoulders are not aligned. One shoulder will appear to be elevated while the other becomes lowered. An ueven shoulder may result from the followings:

  • Frequent participation in sports like tennis and baseball.

  • A problem with the spine called Scoliosis.

  • The excessive use of one arm for various activities.

  • When one leg is longer than the other.

  • Improper sleeping posture.

  • An injury aroud the shoulder

 

  • Forward Head Posture (FHP)

Image Credit: Back Intelligence

The head and Neck will appear to be pushed forward when a person stands in an upright position as a result of an anterior tilting of the cervical spine. On a plain wall, the back of the head of a person with FHP will not touch the wall when standing in an upright position.

Note: Improper sleeping postures can result to FHP.

 

  • Flatfoot

Image Credit: Medical Websites

Flatfoot is also called fallen arches or pes planus. The arch of the foot is seen to always touch the ground because they appear to be very low. In some cases, the arch of the foot may not even present. This will result in the entire sole of the foot touching the ground while standing.

 

 

Below are Postural Defect that affects the spine or backbone

Image Credit: 123RF

  • Scoliosis

A person is said to have scoliosis when the spine is slightly tilted to the left or right or both sides. The curvature of the spine can occur at the upper back or thoracic region (thoracic scoliosis) or lower back or lumber region (lumbar scoliosis). The cause of scoliosis may be hereditary or idiopathic. The term idiopathic imply that the cause is unknown.

 

  • Kyphosis

A person who has kyphosis may also be considered to as having a hunchback. There is an outward slope or curvature on the upper region of the backbone (that is; the posterior thoracic region of the spine) which will give rise to a conspicuous rounded upper back with a forward leaning shoulders. It is more common in aged people although younger people can also have it.

 

  • Lordosis 

Also called saddle back or swayback, this is a result of an inward curvature of the backbone in its upper cervical region (around the neck) and lower lumbar region. Unlike kyphosis which appears in the upper back thoracic region, lordosis occurs in the lower back lumbar region and may result in a more conspicuous buttocks if the inward spine curvature at the lower back is excessive.

 

  • Kypholordosis 

As the name imply, it is a combination of both kyphosis and lordosis. It presents a curvature in the spine at the posterior upper and lower region of the back

 

  • Kyphoscoliosis

A person with kyphoscoliosis will have both kyphosis and scoliosis simultaneously. The spine will therefore have an abnormal curve on two planes. The curves will be seen side by side and anterior-posterior of the spine.

 

Ways to correct postural defects

  1. Avoid carrying too heavy loads.

  2. Don’t sit or stand all day long.

  3. Keep fit by exercise your muscles and bones.

  4. Practice a healthy feeding lifestyle.

  5. Use pillows below your head and neck when sleeping.

  6. Avoid sleeping on stony surfaces. Use a good firm mattress.

  7. When you walk, make your head, neck and shoulders straight.

  8. Make use of a comfortable chair and desk in the office.


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