When everything is going well we take our bodies for granted. It’s when we get pain that we start to think about our joints, bones and muscles. The alignment of our lower limb chain can affect everything from ankles and knees to the hips and lower back. Doing a quick check of your alignment, in the mirror, can help show where potential issues may be and what areas you need to work on to maintain good health and prevent injury.
A bit of biomechanics
Good Lower Limb posture begins from your feet. When standing you should have:
- A straight line from you big toe to your heel, if you curve in or out then the alignment is not optimal.
- Your knees should point in line with the middle of your foot.
- From the side your hip-bone should be directly above your ankle-bone.
If your standing posture looks good, then you may need to add a little bit of load to the system by doing a squat.
How do you fix it?
1. Become aware of your posture
Begin to adjust your standing posture back to a more normal posture. Some good cues for changing your posture is to:
- Ensure your hips are over your ankles
- Weight to outside edge of the feet
- Symmetry when standing
You will not be able to hold this all day so aim for 5-10 second holds to begin with and repeat often throughout the day.
2. Release the tight
You need to stretch and release the tightened and overloaded muscles. If you are walking and standing in poor lower limb posture al day you need to go back the other way. You can use rollers and trigger balls to release the tight muscles or sitting Piriformis stretch.
4. Get Strong – It is essential that once you have released the tight muscles, in the pelvis, that you then strengthen the weak gluteal muscles. A good exercise for this is Crab walking. Put some theraband around your ankles, keep you feet parallel and step sideways. Make sure that you can feel the muscles working in your buttocks. If you can’t then you may need some help.
This depends on a number of factors, how often you do your exercises and stretches, how often you do or don’t correct your posture and how often you overload your system. Generally speaking you will start to notice changes in 2 weeks. After 6-8 weeks your body will be stronger with the new posture and be able to maintain it for most of the day giving you the benefits of less load on your lower limbs and low back.
Book an appointment:
Do you have chronic or reoccurring ankle, knee, hip or Low back pain? Book in for your treatment now with one of our team by calling (07) 3398 9556. Read more about our team here.