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I remember a group photo taken during a high school camp (many, many years ago) and I didn’t buy that photo – today, the photo would have been free and most likely on Facebook!

In that photo, my standing posture was like the picture below.  Now you know why I didn’t buy it!

In my time and even today, there is very little emphasis on posture. As we grow, based on our daily activities, habits and even attitude, we acquire certain postures that have a significant impact on our physical and emotional wellbeing.

The posture I had is known as a sway back posture.  This posture is characterized by:

  • Flat lower back
  • Posterior tilt of pelvis (tucked pelvis)
  • Forward head position
  • Rounded upper back & shoulders
  • Locked knees

I only knew about my posture and how to correct it when I started Pilates Training eight years ago – by then I had chronic pain in my right shoulder due to too many hours at the computer, with a faulty posture.

I am fortunate to have started Pilates Training, else I could have developed other physical issues e.g. lower back pain, shoulder pain, neck pain – in my case, a stiff right neck due to the forward head position.  In my Pilates Training, I discovered the muscle imbalances that perpetuate this faulty posture – namely, tight & weak hamstrings, tight & weak abdominals, tight front chest muscles and poor shoulder mechanics.

In my Pilates training, I am still working to correct these muscular imbalances, but I can say that I do not stand like in the picture above – and I have managed the pain in my right shoulder i.e. no more pain – some days if I am overworked, I can feel some twinges – no surprise  – after all I had the faulty posture for over 40 years!

Most people are not aware that it might be their posture that is causing them pain in their neck, shoulder, lower back or knee.

I wish I had known about it much earlier – before pain sets in, but I am glad that my Pilates training has helped me to manage and to minimize risks of further pain or injuries.

Written by LayYong Ooi

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