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Assessing Posture


by Dylan N. Milam, DC, CCSP, CSCS

The world we live in and the stresses we place on our bodies leads to common patterns of overactive and underactive muscles. Valuable information can come from a simple postural assessment. With a postural assessment we can identify muscles that tend to be “overactive” or “underactive.” Every joint in the body is controlled by a variety of muscles pulling in different directions. Our bodies were designed for movement, but the sedentary nature of most jobs today often forces us to remain in one position for long periods of time, usually sitting at a desk. This, in addition to poor posture, injuries, or incorrect workouts, causes some of these muscles to be used more than others. When this happens these muscles become overactive and dominant, while typically the opposing muscles become underactive. This can cause inappropriate wear on joints causing them to degenerate faster than normal and increase strain on supporting muscles and ligaments which can lead to or complicate other injuries. Overactive muscles are prone to be tight, adaptively shortened, overactive in functional movements, overactive when the body is fatigued, and overactive while learning new movement patterns. These are muscles that need inhibition and lengthening. While it is ok to strengthen these muscles, we want to be careful because that may feed into a movement dysfunction. Underactive muscles tend to be inhibited and weakened. Because of their weakness they cannot eccentrically control or decelerate joint movements and are unable to override the effects of the overactive muscles. These muscles need to be

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& Movement

activated through motor pattern reeducation and strengthened. While stretching these muscles is ok, they usually are already lengthened. Therefore, overactive muscles need to be stretched and underactive muscles need to be strengthened. Another area that needs assessed from a muscle standpoint is muscle function. Muscle function refers to how the whole body works together to coordinate movements. In reality a muscle rarely contracts by itself, but rather it contracts in conjunction with many other muscles. It is important to remember the body functions as a Kinetic Chain. This means that everything in the body is attached and connected to every other area of the body meaning everything affects everything. For further guidance, have your posture and movement evaluated by a professional such as a chiropractor, physical therapist, or orthopedic specialist. By determining which muscles are overactive and which are underactive, stretching and strengthening programs can be prescribed to correct these imbalances. Dr. Dylan N. Milam was born and raised in Laramie, Wyoming and graduated with a degree in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Wyoming. Following undergraduate studies Dr. Milam attended Western States Chiropractic College in Portland, Oregon and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree. After graduating, he practiced in Portland for two years before returning to Laramie and opening a practice. Dr. Milam’s clinical focus, in addition to disorders of the spine and pelvis, is on conservative management of cumulative trauma disorders, sports medicine and functional progressive rehabilitation. Dr. Milam is a  Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist  (CSCS) through the National Strength and Conditioning Association.    He  is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician (CCSP) through the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (ACBSP), which consists of extra training in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries.  He is currently working towards his Diplomate through the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians.


Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2010  

Our THIRD issue! Covering home, business, community, family, wildlife, athletics, travel and MUCH more throughout the state of WY!

Wyoming Lifestyle Magazine Fall 2010  

Our THIRD issue! Covering home, business, community, family, wildlife, athletics, travel and MUCH more throughout the state of WY!