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Correcting Posture Is Hard Work That Often Requires Physical Therapy

By now, the many ways in which posture can influence the body and the importance of practicing good posture should be abundantly clear. If you’re interested in taking more control over your own posture, performing the exercises and techniques described in our last post is a great place to start, but they may not solve your issues independently.

Correcting one’s posture—especially if it’s been particularly poor for a long while—is hard work that doesn’t take place overnight. Truly improving posture usually requires a more sustained and hands–on approach, which is best provided by physical therapy. Physical therapists are perfectly positioned to correct posture, since their practice is based on evaluating the body’s mechanics—which directly contribute to posture—and then determining the best way to address any impairments or imbalances.

Whether a patient has a specific postural problem or a painful condition that may be related to a postural deficit, the physical therapist’s first step is always to perform a thorough screening examination. This involves the patient performing several everyday movements while the therapist observes the position of the spine, head, shoulders, and various other body parts in relation to one another. From there, the therapist will create a personalized treatment plan that focuses on correcting any postural faults and/or painful conditions present, which may include the following:

  • Strengthening exercises that target the muscles that attach to the shoulder blades and core muscles
  • Stretching exercises to increase the flexibility of the head, neck, and shoulders
  • Manual (or hands–on) therapy, especially if any neck, back, or shoulder pain is present
  • Posture tips and recommendations, such as setting frequent alarms to remind you to change your posture, working in front of a mirror, or using a foam roller
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