In my days as a restaurant waiter, I was never a great plate clearer and stacker.

Somewhere in the middle of wanting to be as quick and unintrusive to the diners as possible and wanting to take enough time to stack the plates safely and securely as possible, I sometimes ended up with plates held and balanced precariously.

With a mixture of decent grip strength, quick movement and luck, I never dropped that many plates but I know that I wasn't great. I know that there was sometimes an accident waiting to happen.

I've read quite a bit of stuff going around recently about posture not being of great importance to levels of chronic musculoskeletal pain people experience. They've also said that it doesn't greatly impact physical performance.

Where as it is true that there definitely isn't a causal relationship between posture and chronic pain or posture and performance - wonkiness and slouching doesn't equal pain - here's what I will say.

Let me explain that I'm not greatly concerned with posture. We aren't statically stood or sat upright enough for the neutral position of the spine to be legitimately given as much importance as it is. I'm only concerned with it as an indicator of mobility. Generally, duff posture means duff mobility. 

A kyphotic spine often means ribs that don't open well in the front or close well in the back. An anterior pelvic tilt often means hips and ankles that don't move as they could.

These things don't necessarily cause pain but they certainly hinder performance because they hinder performance of movement itself.

Yes, a male sprinter may run a sub 10 second 100m with a hips that don't extend well. That would constitute elite performer compared to the rest of the human race but for himself, he could run a little better and faster with hips that work better.

With hips that work better, he also has less risk of tissue injury with the work of his frame being distributed more economically. So mobility lends itself to better performance and less risk of acute pain via injury.

Going back to chronic pain, it is true that an person with wonky posture can be completely pain free. And you will also find that most non-drug based methods of resolving pain used methods that move the muscles and joints in some way toward having an experience of non-wonkiness. I have seen in my own work that even giving somebody a short experience of more balance and symmetry can be enough to eridicate pain without doing any long term work to make posture better over the longer term.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I see bad posture/asymmetry/immobility/wonkiness in a similar way to badly stacked plates in a restaurant.

They are an accident waiting to happen. More accurately, they are the increased risk of an accident waiting to happen.

An increased risk doesn't mean that anything bad will happen. As I say, I rarely dropped anything. I was pretty lucky.

But I know that I would have been best served by learning to carry the plates better. That would have made things safer and faster.

Move better. If you've been in pain for a while, it will likely help you. If you've got "bad posture" but no pain, it will decrease your risk of injury and help you perform a little better.


Arton "Badly stacked" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Performance and Rehabilitation