Our posture is more than the way we hold ourselves physically in space. It is also the attitude we hold in life. It develops over time, from when we are little, shaped by our genetics and also by what we learn and experience.
The objective of our posture and movement is for our functions to be carried out in the most economical way, from an energy standpoint.
Our bodies have the quality of being able to assimilate the little aggressions we subject them to every day, and compensating for them. For example, a sprain that makes us limp can cause our knees to rotate, the angle of our hip to change and our vertebra to rotate. This will, therefore, define our posture. In fact, on many occasions, when we speak of chronic cases, of treatments with bad results or recurrences, what has happened is that the symptoms have been treated but not the cause, which is the patient’s failed posture.
When these compensations cause us pain or dysfunction, we must work on our posture, to try to correct or diminish these complications.
Posture treatment provides us with the tools we need to work on it every day, at almost any time: how to sit, how to stand, improved sports movements, etc. This is a mid-term treatment requiring quite a bit of collaboration by the patient, but which yields amazing, life-long results.
GDS and muscle chains
The GDS method is based on a global concept of the human body; it describes a number of chains of muscles and joints and their relationship with body mechanics and behavior.
It was developed by Madame Godelieve Denys-Struyf in the 60’s and 70’s. With a behavioral and physical therapeutic focus, it recommends certain prevention and body awareness techniques and strategies for patients.
According to this method, the muscles in a human body are grouped into 6 muscle chains, and the activity of each of these chains, and the equilibrium among them, leads us to adopt a determined posture.
If we analyze our own posture or that of the people around us, we realize that certain postural patterns are repeated: forward-rolled shoulders, slumped posture, outthrust chest, etc. Each of these postures is maintained by the individual with his or her muscle chains. The aim of using the GDS method is to achieve balance among all the chains by restructuring and reprogramming them.
MANTENANCE: PROPRIOCEPTIVE GYM (GROUP CLASSES)
When we talk about posture treatment, we must remember that it is more complex/complete than merely going to the physical therapist’s office and lying on the table for an hour. It is true that we need the physical therapist to directly treat certain structures of our body, but once that happens, we have to integrate those changes into our physical framework and our movements.
This means that if the therapist treats us for a contracted trapezius muscle, following the office visit we need to do proprioceptive work: body awareness exercises to keep our shoulders lowered, “supported on our pelvis” and “not suspended from our head”. If we neglect our own participation, we are certain to end up with another contracted muscle. Does that sound familiar?
To this end, it is tremendously beneficial to round out your treatment with Proprioceptive or Maintenance Gym. This is a weekly 1-hour class in a reduced group of a maximum of 3 people. Participants do floor work with different objects: bars, balls, boards, etc, and carry out exercises that will stimulate and integrate the changes taking place in our bodies into our motor cortex.
A patient’s description of his or her pain during an interview reveals practically all the information about the injury. THE KEY: It is finding out the why of the injury, the cause, what the chain is that has led to the injury.
A patient’s description of his or her pain during an interview reveals practically all the information about the injury.
THE KEY: It is finding out the why of the injury, the cause, what the chain is that has led to the injury.