Alignment is defined as: "an adjustment to a line; arrangement in a straight line"(3) or "the act of aligning or state of being aligned; especially : the proper positioning or state of adjustment of parts (as of a mechanical or electronic device) in relation to each other"(4)
In 1947, the Posture Committee of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons defined posture as follows(5):
Posture is usually defined as the relative arrangement of the parts of the body. Good posture is that state of muscular and skeletal balance which protects the supporting structures of the body against injury or progressive deformity, irrespective of the attitude (erect, lying, squating, or stooping) in which these structures are working or resting. Under such conditions the muscles will function most efficiently and the optimum positions are afforded for the thoracic and abdominal organs. Poor posture is a faulty relationship of the various parts of the body which produces increased strain on the supporting structures and in which there is less efficient balance of the body over its base of support.
Our postural alignment is designed to be maintained by the deep postural muscles without conscious control. When we think about our body posture and joint alignment (conscious control) and change our alignment by thinking about it we are most likely using our peripheral muscles not our deep postural muscles. This changes joint alignment, movement patterns, and the forces tissues of the body are under. Any conscious control of posture increases rigidity of the body which increases stress and strain on joints, muscles, and connective tissues.
We also need to think about what happens when the person forgets about their posture? It goes back to its imbalances patterns of old, which can cause sudden injury (sprained ankle, ruptured or herniated disc, torn meniscus, strained muscles).
Proper postural alignment is therefore created and maintained by restoring proper joint position and muscle length and tension by doing Postural Alignment Therapy that uses specific Egoscue posture exercises (e-cises) that will reset the body's unconscious muscle memory. This means we can go through our day - sitting, standing, running, playing sports, etc - without having to think about our movement patterns and posture, moving like we did as kids and will have peace of mind knowing that our bodies are working as they were designed - naturally, functionally, efficiently, and pain free.
- Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/posture
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/posture
- Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/alignment
- Merriam-Webster Dictionary http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/alignment
- Posture and its relationship to orthopaedic disabilities. A report of the Posture Committee of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons 1947