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What is a postural assessment and why do you need one?

Poor posture can result in musculoskeletal aches and pains, dysfunction, misalignment of your spine and increased risk of injury. Achieving and maintaining good posture involves learning the right movements and positions, as well as adopting the right lifestyle habits. It’s not enough to simply sit up straight at your desk or put your shoulders back when you are standing up.

By having a physiotherapist carry out a postural assessment you can uncover the root causes of any postural issues, reduce pain and restore normal movement.

What to expect in a postural assessment

Our free postural assessments consist of a thorough evaluation of the patient’s posture and gait which can include a variety of assessment techniques including:

  • Detailed postural observation
  • Visual gait analysis
  • Full joint assessment and manual muscle testing (including analysis of muscle length and control)
  • Evaluation of functional tasks

Our physiotherapists will observe you standing, looking at the positioning of your entire body from your head to feet and observe you walking (and possibly running). We may use video analysis to identify imbalances and abnormalities.

What is Gait Analysis?

Gait analysis is an assessment of your walking or running pattern used to pinpoint biomechanical abnormalities.

Poor walking gait can result in pain and injuries to your knee, foot, hip or back. An inefficient walking pattern also causes issues when you start to run as it means there is unnecessary stress being placed on your joints and muscles. If your joints are stiff or your muscles are weak your body has to find ways of compensating for the problem. This can lead to biomechanical abnormalities which can cause common injuries such as Shin splints, Plantar fasciitis, knee pain, lower back pain and tendonitis.

Preventing injury

Your body performs best when it is in correct postural alignment. Your muscles, joints and spine work together to help you play sport or do other kinds of physical exercise without pain. If something is out of alignment when you are training or playing sport injury can occur. Your physiotherapist will show you how to carry out exercises and movements in positions of correct posture in order to prevent injury and perform at your best.

Posture correction and treatment

Following a postural assessment, our physiotherapists will make recommendations for treatment and management which may include one or more of the following:

  • Personalised exercise and stretching program designed to improve stability, strength and mobility
  • Education in posture correction and/or ergonomic advice for work, home and recreational environments
  • Hands-on joint mobilisation and manipulation techniques (for treatment of joint problems)
  • Use of postural supports designed to aid correct body position, balance or alignment  

Our physiotherapists are in the best position to evaluate your posture and assist you in achieving and maintaining good posture and gait. We can help you now to make small changes to the way you exercise, work and carry out day-to-day activities which will prevent pain, unnecessary time off work and potential medical bills in the future.

We are highly trained and experienced in evaluating posture and gait. You will come out of your postural assessment equipped with strategies to help you improve your posture and adopt good postural habits which you can maintain in your daily life.

At Fairfield Physiotherapy & Sports Injuries Centre, we are happy to offer all our new patients a free postural assessment. Contact us today to make an appointment.