Postural Changes and Pain During Pregnancy

Posture is the position in which we hold our bodies while standing, sitting, or lying down.

Good posture is the correct alignment of body parts supported by the right amount of
muscle tension against gravity. Without posture and the muscles that control it, we would
simply fall to the ground.

Normally, we do not consciously maintain normal posture .Instead, certain muscles do it for us, and we don't even have to think about it.
Good posture helps us stand, walk, sit, and lie in positions that place the least strain on supporting muscles and ligaments during movement and weight-bearing activities.

Correct posture:

  • Helps us keep bones and joints in correct alignment so that our muscles are used correctly, decreasing the abnormal wearing of joint surfaces that could result in degenerative arthritis and joint pain.
  • Reduces the stress on the ligaments holding the spinal joints together, minimising the likelihood of injury.
  • Allows muscles to work more efficiently, allowing the body to use less energy and, therefore, preventing muscle fatigue.
  • Helps prevent muscle strain, overuse disorders, and even back and muscular pain.


Most postures can be sustained for a short time however certain sitting or standing postures can place increased pressures on discs. Prolonged periods in these postures can cause adaptive shortening of various tissues. This may be associated with musculoskeletal discomfort and dysfunction in some people.

Muscle tightness, resulting from prolonged postures and associated pre-existing characteristics, can lead to changes in pressure distribution over joint surfaces and may lead to degeneration. Poor prolonged posture will also result in weakening of postural muscles making it increasingly difficult to attain better posture.

A Osteopath can help and will begin by conducting a thorough assessment of the
patient's posture.

This can include:

  • Detailed postural observation
  • Muscle length, strength and muscle control testing
  • Full joint assessment
  • Evaluation of functional tasks

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