Postural and Balance Assessment
Muscles are controlled by proprioceptors which are specialized receptors sensitive to the position and movement of the body. They detect the stretch and tension of a muscle and send messages to the spinal cord to enable it to adjust its signals to the muscles. There are two main types of proprioceptors which are:
Â· 1. Muscle spindle: refers to a stretch receptor which lies parallel to muscle fibers. When it is stretched the muscle spindle sends a message to a motor neuron in the spinal cord which in turn reflexively sends a message to the muscle causing a contraction.
Â· 2. Golgi tendon organ: refers to a specialized receptor located in the tendons at both ends of the muscle. It acts as a brake against excessive contractions by inhibiting the motor neurons in the spinal cord which leads to muscle relaxation or down regulation of muscle tone. .
The techniques used to help improve posture often include exercise, stretching, massage and other soft tissues techniques, modalities such as heat, ice and ultrasound, and re-education of movement patterns and positions during activities
Prolonged positioning in a "poor" posture can lead to stress upon the supportive and wieghtbearing tissues of the spine. Deviations from a normal posture can be one of the earliest indications of a neurological and/or orthopedic disorder. The most common cause for abnormal posture is habit. The chronic maintenance of a position causes the sensory systems of the body to reset postural reflexes to adapt to the posture even if is inefficient and potentially harmful to the tissues. The restoration of good posture is a frequent goal of physical or spinal rehabilitation.
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