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Posture and Gait Rehabilitation

Posture Analysis

Gait and postural control are affected by aging, and in neurological, and musculoskeletal disorders. Poor gait and postural control are associated with disability, falls, increased morbidity and mortality; therefore representing major public health issues.

It’s time to realize the truth—many Canadians have bad posture. While this may not seem like a huge deal, poor posture can lead to back pain, joint degeneration, spinal dysfunction, and more complications. Most of us link poor posture to sitting at our desks, slouching, or bending over our phones. However, did you know that gait and posture have a connection as well? Often times it’s forgotten that a person is much more than just a bunch of body parts, at least when it comes to healthcare.

We break ourselves into specific parts where we feel the pain, instead of taking into consideration that we as a whole have a pattern of behaviours that might affect our overall health. This is often the case with diet and fitness, but also with gait and posture.

Improper body alignment can create postural problems. Many of us have bad habits while walking, such as keeping our heads down or slouching. These habits can put unnecessary strain on our bodies that can result in discomfort and poor posture.

The right gait can help you avoid postural problems, straining the body, and a sore or achy body as a result of poor posture. We not only have a full range of treatments but also, more especially, podiatric assessments by biomechanical gait analysis to diagnose the cause of problems.

Posture analysis

With a world full of technological advances and long hours in front of a screen, many people find themselves with newfound neck and back pain due to sitting. Muscle tension due to long hours in a chair can cause severe symptoms such as tension headaches, visual disturbances, and digestive issues. Our therapists are experts in postural evaluations and treatment programs specifically geared to help mitigate negative effects of sitting. Posture is the attitude assumed by body either when the body is stationary or when it is moving. Posture is attained as a result of co-ordinated action of various muscles working to maintain stability. Posture in easy terms can be understood as the position in which you hold your body when standing or sitting. The goal of correct posture is to be in optimal alignment to perform an activity in the most efficient manner and with the least amount of energy and effort. Your Physiotherapist will complete an in-depth posture assessment to find any deviations that may give cues of past and current traumas, injuries, mild or serious pathologies, and energy inefficient positions that may be contributing to the injury.

Gait analysis

Gait analysis is appropriate for all ages and can provide helpful insight into treating many types of conditions. This concerns the biomechanical pattern of your normal walking and running cycles. It is chiefly concerned with the movement of your lower limbs, but as no body part operates in complete isolation the therapist will take your total physiology into account when making their analysis. Gait analysis is commonly used to identify the root cause or contributive compensation movement strategy that is underlying the condition. The correction of any biomechanical abnormalities that are affecting your gait can improve your muscle strength, flexibility and overall mobility.

What can cause Posture problems?

Our bones, muscles, and joints are part of the musculoskeletal system that defines our postural stability. The backbone is a complex system of vertebra bones, joint-like spaces called intervertebral discs, and muscles. Over time, the back can curve forward as these lose their structural integrity, creating a stooped posture.

One factor behind spinal curvature is how the intervertebral discs change with age. Separating each vertebra is gelatin-like cartilage; as we get older, these discs harden with the inevitable result of the compressed total length of the spine and a forward tilt called kyphosis. It’s considered a normal part of aging.

Osteopenia and osteoporosis can also lead to posture issues in the elderly. These are conditions characterized by a loss of calcium in the bones, producing a little (osteopenia) or a lot (osteoporosis) of bone density. It’s a condition that begins in women at menopause and men around the age of 65. There can be a slight reduction in the size of less dense bones in the spine, contributing to posture issues.

Gait Analysis

What are the common causes of Gait problems?

Most changes in gait have an underlying medical cause and should not always be thought of as an inevitable consequence of aging. Most gait and balance disorders involve multiple contributing factors, including inner ear disorders, arthritis, stroke foot conditions, neurologic conditions, orthostatic hypotension, and even poorly-fit shoes.

Medical conditions associated with gait and balance disorders include pain, dyspnea, imbalance, diminished strength, limited range of motion, poor posture, decreased sensory perception, fatigue, deformity, and reduced awareness of and ability to manage hazardous surroundings.

Many gait problems result from caring for other medical issues. Recent surgery or hospitalization and other acute medical illnesses may lead to gait and balance disorders. Specific medications and using four or more of them can lead to gait disorders and an increased rate of falls.

Why are Posture & Gait problems a serious issue?

Changes in gait patterns are a chief cause of falls. Any fall can exacerbate a current medical condition or create new ones, affecting the daily living habits. They may even reduce your own social or physical routines due to a fear of falling again.

Posture and gait problems are also associated with increased morbidity (having a specific illness or condition), mortality (death occurring due to an illness or condition), and reduced levels of function. Posture issues, too, can lead to a reduced range of motion, affecting how well seniors can move about independently.

Poor posture can create negative feedback, causing back pain, headaches, joint pain, and muscle stiffness. It can also affect one’s breathing, digestion, circulation, and overall organ function.

How can you manage changing Postures & Gaits?

While posture and gait changes are inevitable with age, there are many ways to manage these issues. Strength training, physical therapy, aerobic exercise, and proper nutrition are all ways to slow down the problems related to walking and posture. They or their loved ones can also change bedding, stairs, and entranceways to accommodate the physical changes.

It’s a necessary health concern to raise with doctors, too. Physicians caring for seniors should inquire at least once a year, about falls, asking questions related to any difficulties with gait, balance, and posture.

How can a physiotherapist help with Posture & Gait?

It can be tough for people to pinpoint poor posture and learn how to correct it on their own. Now that you know about the connection between gait and posture, you can see a physiotherapist.

At Regain Health Centre, our physiotherapist have the expertise needed to diagnose injuries and provide proper treatments.

To book an appointment, Call us today at (778) 366-8888 or contact us here.

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