Eric Beard: Standing Postural Assessment

Looking for a quick postural assessment to easily see your client’s asymmetries? Spend two minutes with Eric Beard and you’ve got one.

Make sure your clients are beginning with the feet hip-to-shoulder-width apart and relatively straight ahead.

We’re going to imagine the plumb line dropping down. We’d like to see the ear, shoulder, hip, knee and ankle lined up. We’re going to notice a difference in every client we see.

Nicole is lean, so you’re going to see some of the musculature here defined and very easy for us to see. You might have the appearance of a little bit of extension in the lumbar spine. You can see the shoulder blades are set back. You can see she’s been a dancer. She’s held that posture and held her head nice in alignment. You can check for the forward head posture. One of the tricks we talked about before was having a finger on the manubrium and one on the maxillary arch to see if there is a forward head posture.

I’m going to have her do one more quarter turn to the left. We’ll do a posterior view for the camera starting at the bottom—feet, knees, hips, shoulders and head. We can have our clients remove their footwear, so they don’t have the aid or the support of the shoes. We’re really talking mostly about the thoracic spine here, so we won’t get in depth with support around the foot. She has a relatively minimalist shoe with a very small drop through here. It’s not a zero drop, but a small drop, so they won’t have a massive impact on her alignment.

Are her feet relatively straight ahead?
Are the arches relatively neutral?
Can you see a difference in hip height?
Do you notice a difference in the shoulder blades?

For me, I can see a difference between the left scapula versus the right scapula. You might be able to see a little bit of a difference in shoulder height through there.

I am going to highlight the PSIS on either side, just to help to see if there’s any rotation in the transverse plane we had talked about, so we have our PSIS.

Does it feel like it’s going that way for you, Nicole? She’s got a little of that turn in that rotation. We’ll put that in our assessment bank. We’ll hang on to that information. We’re going to move on to a transitional movement assessment.

Learn more about the thoracic spine with Eric Beard – assessments, exercises and case studies:

Eric Beard thoracic video