Original Pezzi® Posturalcare support®
The study of joint physiology makes it possible to study human biomechanics using the functional anatomy of joints of the entire body as reference. By definition, the spine is the ensemble of all vertebrae, which make up the support structure to which sheaths, fasciae, organs, small and large muscles are anchored and which is in turn supported, protected and activated by these.
The spine is naturally curved along its axis: on the sagittal plane (viewed from the side) it is possible to observe the kyphotic and the lordotic curves, with posterior and anterior convexity, respectively. Kyphosis plays a static role of support and protection, i.e. of containment of remarkably important structures (think of the cranial kyphosis that protects brain and cerebellum, the dorsal kyphosis that protects thoracic organs such as heart and lungs, the sacral kyphosis that protects the pelvic organs, and, for further accuracy, let us include the calcaneal kyphosis for the foot pump). Kyphosis are therefore not particularly mobile as mobility is not necessary for their function.
On the other hand, lordosis are mobile and are born in chronologic order, first the popliteal, then the cervical, the lumbar and finally the foot arch one. Naturally, the most important curves are the dorsal and sacral kyphosis and the cervical and lumbar lordosis.
Mother Nature has created this alternation of curves to sustain the load of the entire body during erect walking and standing. Any structure, and in particular vertical structures, becomes more resistant the more curves it contains. In the case of our spine, the number of main curves is three, that is, the cervical lordosis, the dorsal kyphosis and the lumbar lordosis.
According to engineering studies, the resistance of a structure is given by the number of curves squared plus one, i.e. R= (NxN) +1; therefore, considering the three vertebral curves of the human spine, resistance is 3×3 +1, that is 9+1, that is 10.
If due to a voluntary or involuntary action one of the curves is no longer present, the spine loses part of its resistance. If, for instance, the lumbar curve is no longer present, something that takes place when we sit down and bend with our hips, resistance becomes 2 x 2 +1, that is, 5! Practically half the resistance of a physiologic position with three curves.
This means that in order not to overload the spine on its support structures it is of fundamental importance to maintain the three curves, which absorb and distribute the load equally over all spinal structures.
Unfortunately this does not happen all the time!
Incorrect postures and spinal functional or structural problems may lead to the elimination of a curve or to the exaggeration of another, or both.
This will alter the uniformity of stress distribution over the spine, which may then lead to significant discomfort and sometimes pathologic states.
The ability to maintain the physiologic alternation of the spinal curves is one of the basic requisites in postural balance exercises.
Postural fitness includes a series of strategies used on a case-by-case basis, to allow the subject to regain full functionality while fully respecting spinal mechanics. After an attentive observation of the person’s posture and an assessment of spinal functionality, using movement tests as reference (flexion, extension, rotation and latero-flection), it is then possible to organize a series of mobilization or positioning exercises using POSTURALCARE support® to help the person recover the physiological curves of the spine. Alterations of physiological spinal curves may create important stress when in flexion, with effects on the anterior structures of the vertebrae, or viceversa, in the case of an extended cervical tract the posterior part of the vertebrae is subject to stress.
Cervical supports recreate the cervical spine curve in people with functional limitation in extension, that is, people who are permanently in flexion. This phenomenon is increasingly common due to the professional postures assumed when working with a computer – chin almost to chest during a large part of the day. Form alterations can of course be caused by remote traumas such as a more or less intense whiplash which straightens or even inverts the cervical spine.
This is why a support with adjustable inflation such as Posturalcare support® SMALL (illustrated in the picture) may help with the postural balance of the cervical segment. The same applies to the lumbar spine, which is often hyperlordotic, straightened or even inverted due to various causes, such as sitting down for too long. Positioning oneself with a support with adjustable inflation such as Posturalcare support® MEDIUM (illustrated in the picture) beneath the lumbar spine, when lying down, may help correct this reduced
This helps reduce hypercifotic curves and therefore induces a physiological dorsal kyphosis.
So… Keep an eye on those curves!
With the cooperation of Individual Training Company
(www.individualtraining.it) and, in particular:
Andrea Manzotti (physical therapist and ostheopath)
Dario Crippa, Claudio Suardi and Stefano Zambelli (personal trainers)