Pregnancy: The Pre & Post-Natal Postural Effects

October 28, 2013

By David McGill BSc (Hons)

Certain postural muscles exist within the human body, known collectively as ‘tonic’ muscles. They are designed to subconsciously contract, helping to keep us upright, aligned and balanced during static or dynamic activities such as standing, walking, running or lunging. These ‘tonic’ muscles include the lower back, thighs, chest and upper shoulders. By subconsciously contracting for prolonged periods each day, they often become tighter than other muscles. As muscles work in pairs, this will gradually lead to a difference in muscle length and tension causing some to tighten and shorten and others to lengthen and weaken. Muscles attach to bones therefore this can have an unfavourable, knock-on effect on postural alignment, joint stability and physical functioning.
To maintain postural alignment, balance, and to support the growing weight of the baby, these ‘tonic’ postural muscles work much harder in a pregnant woman’s body. These will tighten to a greater extent, weakening and prohibiting other important muscles from essentially aligning limbs or stabilising joints correctly during body movement. A woman’s posture will therefore alter considerably with each pre-natal trimester period as her baby grows in size and weight.Read the whole article click here.

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