Since everything in the body is connected, you can’t treat a specific body part (like neck pain or knee pain) without addressing the whole-body structure. Now, treating the whole body may seem overwhelming. However, it does not have to be.
The Key is Structural Alignment!
For correct alignment (which protects your joints and vital tissues) you just need to have these basics:
- Enough of the essential flexibility and mobility to allow for correct alignment/posture.
- Basic core strength to combat against gravity.
- Knowledge of ideal sitting and standing alignment.
- Knowledge of ideal walking form.
I have been saying to my PT patients for 27 years, “wouldn’t it be great if they taught postural and walking basics in school” and everyone agrees. These basics, plus a few others, are what it takes to prevent arthritis or break down and rehab from injury and pain. Do It Yourself PT programs instruct you on the essential mobility, flexibility, and strength exercises required and offer over 15 videos on alignment, posture, and walking.
There are COMMON MUSCLE GROUPS that tend to get WEAK, TIGHT, and SHORTENED in today’s “flexed” sit-down culture, a culture where we no longer have to hunt and gather and be mobile for our survival. Remember, our bodies evolved as hunter/gatherers and were designed for lots of varied activities. However, now most of us are sitting at desks and computers or standing for prolonged, with only short periods of movement. Our movements tend also to now be limited to sagittal plane movements, like bending to lift something or bending to load the dishwasher, and no longer require as many triplane movements like rotation and side bending.
Yet our joints and tissue designed for this tri-planar motion (moving in all directions) are being neglected and negatively affected by DISUSE. Our tight muscle groups are pulling adversely on joints and the spine. No wonder we are stiffer and sorer than ever before.
Do It Yourself PT low back pain solution is currently being offered here: https://doityourselfpt.com/ and takes you through a step-by-step program to address the shortened muscle groups yanking on your spine restores rotational mobility provides you safe core strengthening and educates you on how to achieve ideal alignment.
Follow these DIYPT Standing Alignment Instructions to learn and train the ideal standing posture for your well-being. See my website for free video instructions.
DIYPT Standing Posture Instructions
As you practice each bullet instruction below maintain each component as in a series.
- Stand with your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders in parallel alignment with each joint directly over the other. This means your shoulders are over your hips, over your mid patella (knees), and all over your ankles. If you were looking in the mirror front on, you should be able to draw a vertical line straight down from the shoulder, hip, knee to ankle.
- Feet are hip-width apart and facing forward. Find the root of your second toe on both sides. You should be able to draw a straight line from here back thru the middle of your ankle. The two lines from right to left should be perfectly parallel.
- Now, check to see that you are standing equally on both feet. Be sure you have weighted down through your heels as well as the forefoot. Place equal weight in all four corners of the foot and equally from Right to Left.
- Gently hug the thigh bones with the muscles of the inner thigh, outer thigh, and front of thighs. Include the muscles of the floor of the pelvis as if you were going to stop the flow of urination. And…
- Maintain a slight forward arch in the small of the back while gently drawing your navel towards the backbone (as if there was a magnet pulling your belly button up & back). Do not let your back flatten as you do this. Only engage the core as much as you can still breathe comfortably.
- Think length. Notice how the spine lengthens up as the core engages. A natural slight lift of the chest may occur, however, do not stick your chest out forcefully.
- Allow the shoulder blades to drape down & back on the spine as you relax the shoulders intending for them to move away from one another towards opposite sides of the room.
- Imagine your head is a fountain, bubbling up towards the sky as the back of your head lifts slightly up & forward. This releases the overworked muscles at the base of the skull and upper neck.
Remember the core remains engaged comfortably, the low back has an arch, shoulders are down and relaxed, legs are working as you think length.
BREATHE EASY! The Ribcage expands out like the wings of a bird.
Tags: diypt | do it yourself pt | knee pain | low back pain | neck pain | postural therapy | posture instructions | proper alignment and posture | standing posture | structural alignment | whole body approach
Copyright © by Kimberly DelVecchio, PT
Kimberly DelVecchio, Licensed Physical Therapist, is the owner of Integrative Physical Therapy in Clifton Park NY, a comprehensive physical therapy clinic specializing in orthopedic health issues. IPT: 1 Barney Rd. suite 120 Clifton Park, NY 12065.