In your body, nothing happens in isolation. Your entire body works as an interconnected unit. What this means is that any change that occurs in one part of the body will cause a change in other parts of your body. Remember that postural alignment is more than just standing up straight. It is about the position of all your major load joints (ankle, knee, hip, shoulder). Most people do not have a high level of awareness when it comes to their bodies, so they do not feel changes in their postural alignment. Even though you may not feel it, it does happen! In addition, most practitioners in the health and medical field would not notice such a change in a client because they are not trained to look for it.
Let me give you an example of how a change in one area affects the entire body. I once injured the left side of my neck. Though the pain was in my neck, the injury altered my entire body. My head became offset to my right. My left shoulder elevated and my right shoulder lowered. The left side of my body rotated forward. The anterior angle of my pelvis increased (back side tilted up), in addition, my knee flexion and foot supination also increased. All this just from hurting my neck! Days later, my low back began to ache. Though I originally did not injure my low back, the huge negative postural change began to cause discomfort in another area of my body.
This fact is extremely important to remember and it doesn’t matter how small the injury or where on the body. Unfortunately, most people tend to suck up their pain and injuries and go on with their normal lives, activities, and sports. When this injury and postural change is not cleared out as soon as possible, your body begins to continuously function under this negatively altered postural alignment. As time goes on, your body begins to learn that this new posture is the standard baseline from which to function. As a result, this altered postural alignment eventually becomes ingrained in your body and permanent.
When these negative changes become permanent, 2 things tend to happen. First, people eventually begin to feel pain discomfort in other parts of their body. In the example mentioned above, I began to feel discomfort in my low back a few days later. For some people, the pain may not appear until much later. Due to the weakened structure of the body, seemingly minor issues may set off pain in other parts of the body at a later time or injuries may seem to come out of no where.
The second thing that tends to happen is that there may be a tendency to constantly re-injure the same area or the original injury may seem to never heal 100%. This is why you often see acute injuries turn into chronic problems. Now think about how many times in your life you have worked through pain and injury. Then think about how many negative postural changes your body must have accumulated over the years.
So when an injury occurs, it is best to wipe out the negative change immediately. The original injury caused a postural change, but the postural change also perpetuates the injury. So, by wiping out the postural change as soon as it happens, you will speed up the healing process of the original injury and prevent other problems from occurring. In fact, many acute injuries that cause an extremely high level of pain can often be easier to resolve than a chronic issue that cause a low level of pain for decades because the changes in the body have not become permanent.