Friday, October 28, 2011

Solid Foundations

I'm going to issue a challenge to you...

at the end, silly...

My good friend, Mario, over at Crossfit on the Square posted an interesting question and image on Monday, along with the workout of the day.  The image is of the effects to the lower leg and the body when wearing high heels - particularly if you wear them on a daily basis.  I want to expand upon this concept a little, because it's not just high heels, and it's not just the feet - it's any sort of foundation within our body, and it's a 2-way street.

Here's the image Mario shared:

If you look at the top right corner of that image, you can see how the altered foot position in high heels creates postural compensations throughout the entire body.  These postural compensations can develop into postural deviations that last well after removing the shoes, if you wear them habitually.  When you're out of alignment, you are also at greater risk for injury (as Mario mentioned).

Postural deviations can begin almost anywhere the body, but especially occur in areas I consider "foundations," such as the hips/pelvis and the shoulder girdle/neck area.  If you sit on a wallet, or on a desk chair with an improperly positioned seat or back, if you twist a little to see your computer monitor...you can develop postural deviations.

While the lower foundations tend to have more of an effect on the structures atop them, this transfer of imbalance can work in both directions.  An imbalance in your shoulders may create an abnormal pull (and pain) as your back tries to correct the imbalance.  As muscles and the fascia of the back connect to and around the hips, they can transfer that pull into the hips, which can then become painful and possibly even continue the transfer down into the knees and feet.  As I mentioned in the TMJ post, the jaw is directly connected to the neck and shoulders.  You can see how improper footwear and your jaw pain might be somehow related.

So, my challenge to you: figure out what in your life might be creating a postural deviation for you.  Is it the wallet, monitor position, shoes, chair....?