Center of Pressure: What this means to posture, joint and spinal pain

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June 4, 2020

If I drew a line right down the center of you, it should land in between your ankles. If I looked at you from the side, I should be able to draw a line from your ear and connect it straight down to your shoulder, then hip and finally your ankle. This is perfect center of pressure. 

Now, if you think about this from an engineering perspective, it allows forces and pressure to be equally distributed throughout the body. This reduces strain on particularly sensitive joints and allows muscles to absorb the compression. 

Most human beings want to drift anteriorly, or forward and their center of pressure moves in that direction. In the upper body, this causes the shoulders the roll forward, changing the angle at which we carry our upper extremities resulting in carpal tunnel, rotator cuff injury, shoulder strain and elbow pain. It also forces the neck to protrude anteriorly, often resulting in headaches/migraines, neck pain and pain between the shoulder blades. In the lower body, we get pain across the base of our spine/pelvis, hip pain, knee pain, tightness in hip flexors and hamstrings, ankle pain and plantar fasciitis. Overall, this increases the curve in the lumbar spine (sway back) and thoracic spine (hump back), lessening the curve in the cervical spine (straightened neck)-NOT GOOD. All of these issues can be as a result of a drift forward of our center, creating a myriad of compensating symptoms. Many extremity symptoms such as knee pain, for example can be caused by global posturing.

Fixing this is quite attainable, but it does take some hard work, diligence and patience. A good chiropractic neurologist will not only treat your spine and fix many of the particular problematic regions, but also train your global posturing to restore normal function. 

If your center of pressure is more forward, here's what you can do to start this process:

1. Start by standing more onto your heels by pushing your butt backwards until you feel yourself standing more on your heels

2. Check yourself by standing against a wall with your heels, butt and back against the wall- push your butt straight backwards against the wall, hold the tightened lower abdomen and step out from the wall, that is typically where you generally want to be

3. Start to train your lower abdominals, increase core strength

There is more to this processs, but this will get you started. At Portland Chiropractic Neurology, located in Portland, Maine, we specialize in these treatments and can help resolve your symptoms.


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