The structure is anything in your body – bones, muscles, connective tissue (fascia, ligaments, tendons), organs and more. Right down to the level of your cells.
If a structure is not aligned or moving well, it can’t work as it should. Dysfunction can occur locally or elsewhere in your body. As a result, you experience symptoms – pain or discomfort, stiffness, weakness, altered digestion, fatigue, or other.
Your structure can be altered by injury, overuse, strain, but also by a lack of use. Prolonged sitting is an excellent example of how structure and function are inter-related.
It’s easy to see how sitting affects the alignment of your spine and pelvis. Your muscles may tense as a result of maintaining one position for an extended period or spasm as a “protective” response to prevent damage to your intervertebral discs and spinal cord. Muscle tension reduces blood flow and can promote inflammation, more muscle guarding and connective tissue shortening. The result – back pain!
Research tell us that sitting affects more than the musculoskeletal system, though. With decreased circulation the body starts to shut down metabolic processes, changing normal physiology (function). In this way, a sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.
The goal of osteopathic assessment is to identify the location and nature of the mechanical disturbance causing your symptoms. We evaluate how your body has responded to the problem too. Treatment can then work to change both the source and the compensation to restore whole body health.