Looking At Posture As A Clue To Helping Patients – A NYC Chiropractor/Applied Kinesiologist/NKT Practitioner Explains

Two weeks ago, a relatively new patient who has been to other chiropractors paid me a compliment by saying that I was “unlike other chiropractors, I think about what is happening and what I need to do.”

One of the things I look at is posture. How does the patient present as they stand in front of me?

The other question that is relative to their posture is: How did they get that posture? Was there an accident where they were, for example, thrown forward and had to catch themselves when their bus suddenly stopped. What position was their body in? Hands forward? Head turned?

Postural findings may be due to muscular inhibition either as individual muscles or as a group of muscles that work together to do a certain movement

Or they may be due a compensating muscle inhibiting a muscle

Are the involved muscles hypotonic or hypertonic?

Or has a problem with their foot, for example, caused muscles to get inhibited or to compensate up the length of their body causing further joint and spinal pain?


Here are some examples of muscles that may be involved in postural findings:

  • High Occiput – upper trapezius, neck flexor/extensor, gluteus medius, SCM, rectus capitus
  • Head rotation – latissimus, gluteus medius, lower trapezius
  • High Shoulder – opposite upper trapezius, quadratus lumborum
  • Low Shoulder – quadratus lumborum, latissimus
  • Elevated Ribs – rectus abdominal, oblique abdominals, quadratus lumborum
  • Lumbar deviation – psoas, lumbar erectors, multifidus, gluteus medius/maximus, tfl
  • High pelvis – sartorious, quadratus lumborum, hamstrings
  • Genu Valgus (Knock Knee) – TFL, gluteus max, adductors
  • Genu Varus (Bowed Knee) –adductor, popliteus, hamstrings

I use manual muscle testing to see if the muscles are hypotonic or hypertonic or inhibited by a compensating muscle.

I also look to see if there is a problem with the alignment of the joint the muscles cross or the vertebrae involved in the spinal innervation of the involved muscles.

For more detailed information, please check out the following blogs:






© 2016-Dr. Vittoria Repetto

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