There are many complex musculoskeletal assessments you can perform to uncover the underlying causes of dysfunction and pain. However, the most simple assessments are usually the most effective as they can be easily implemented into your corrective exercise programs and explained to your clients.  Take the following assessment for example. Look at your reflection in a full-length mirror. Do you notice that your waistband is no longer straight and has slipped down on one side or up on the other. You might also see that your pant leg is shorter on one side and you have to constantly pull that pant leg down so it doesn’t ride up above your shoes.

poor-alignment-graphic-with-pain-pointsWhat does this mean? If you notice this phenomenon, you’re most likely habitually propping more of your body weight on one leg. Favoring to stand on one side not only places more pressure on the foot of that side, but also shifts your pelvis out of alignment.  The result?  Your waistband will no longer sit level on your hips. This habit of propping more weight on one leg may be more comfortable for you as you have gradually become used his position over the years. However, this extra pressure and weight you put on your stronger leg means there will also be more pressure put on the foot, ankle, knee, hip and back on that same side of your body. Over time, this can lead to pain.

If you notice this phenomenon you can correct this problem by continually adjusting your pants by pulling on the shorter leg throughout the day, but this won’t help your body feel any better. The long-term fix involves teaching your body to evenly distribute your weight on both sides. Incorporate self-myofascial release exercises to take pressure off overworked muscles, stretch those muscles that are preventing you from accepting weight correctly and strengthen those muscles on your weaker side.  Relearning to distribute your weight evenly takes time to reeducate your nervous system so that all the balance mechanisms in your body accept this new position/posture. However, your patience and persistence will pay huge dividends in the long run as your entire body begins to feel and function better.