Posture and Balance

Posture is reflection of how you balance your body. You continually use your muscles which counter and correct the body relative to gravity. To help you keep an upright posture, you use your eyes to gauge what is level, along with sensory information from your inner ears, muscles, and joints. The brain regulates and adapts the way the muscles respond to posture. In effect the basic model of postural control is a circuit encompassing the muscles and joints, inner ears and the brain. 

The key to this basic model is that it is a circuit or loop. As such the postural muscles can influence the brain and vice versa. Therefore, damage and disruption to the brain function can lead to poor posture. This is evident with stroke patients, Parkinson’s Disease and some Tic’s. However, even more common but refined disorders like; ADHD, scoliosis, functional dissociation disorder, hemisphericity or eye palsy. Often a postural disorder is not a disorder of the muscuoskeletal system, sometimes the brain and nervous system function needs to be considered. 

The following exercises are a guide which may assist and support the posture. Clearly it is understood that a healthy balance system can encourage a good brain. (Note these exercises are a guide and care should be taken. Please contact your medical practitioner if these activities lead to pain or concern.) 

  • Grab a towel with your toes. Place a towel on the floor and practice grabbing it with the toes of both of your feet, alternately, while both sitting and standing. 
  • Stand on a cushion. Try using cushions or pillows of varying firmness and stand on them with your legs alternately together and apart. 
  • Stand with a changed position. Try standing under different conditions — with your eyes open or closed, your head tilted to one side or straight, your mouth talking or silent and your hands at your sides or out from your body. 
  • Walk heel−to−toe. Position your heel just in front of the toes of the opposite foot each time you take a step. Your heel and toes should touch or come close. You may want to start first going along hand rails or with a wall next to you. 
  • Walk backwards. Try walking backwards along a wall or a kitchen counter without looking back, using the wall or counter to steady yourself infrequently.


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Posture and Balance--